Australia NAB Business Conditions, Confidence Reach Record High

Australia's business conditions and confidence reached record levels in April, survey results from National Australia Bank showed on Monday.

The business conditions index rose to a fresh record high of 32 in April from 24 in March.

The improvement was driven by further improvements in each subcomponent. Trading conditions rose 5 points to +40 in April, profitability was up 8 points to +33, and employment rose 7 points to +22 index points. Each component was the highest on record.

The employment index continued to strengthen, even as the JobKeeper program has come to an end and employment has recovered to its pre-COVID level.

The business confidence also set a new record high of 26 points versus 17 in the previous month, indicating that conditions will remain strong in the near term.

Confidence improved in all industries, led by a pickup in retail. In trend terms, mining, construction and finance, business and property were most optimistic, while retail and wholesale were the least confident - but still healthy, the survey showed.

"It looks like we have moved past the rebound phase of the recovery and are now seeing healthy growth in most of the economy," NAB Group Chief Economist, Alan Oster, said. After lagging in the rebound phase, the services sectors started showing strength.

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