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Australia Business Conditions Weaken In April

Australia business conditions weakened in April and confidence edged up slightly from March but remained well below average, survey data from the National Australia Bank showed Tuesday.

The business conditions index dropped to +3 from +7 in March. Meanwhile, the confidence index rose 1 point to zero in April.

As the confidence indicator remained below average, it suggested little improvement in business conditions in coming months, NAB observed.

"The bounce in conditions in March was short-lived, as we expected given the weakness in forward looking indicators," Alan Oster, NAB Group chief economist, said.

The employment index logged a sharp decrease, falling to -1, while trading and profitability each declined by 4 points each.

"We will be watching future readings of the employment index to assess if this is a sustained signal - the index at these levels, based on historical relationships, suggests employment growth of 14k per month," said Oster.

The forward looking indicators of the survey continue to suggest that the weakening in conditions over the second part of 2018 is unlikely to be reversed any time soon, Oster added.

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