Business Bounce Back
After falling into negative territory last month, business confidence improved in March according the NAB’s monthly business survey. The NAB’s release stated that “there were some tentative signs of improvement in the NAB Monthly Business Survey for March – with the post RBA cut fall in confidence reversed in March”. The biggest improver funnily enough was mining, coming off a very low base, while most other segments were mixed.
Business conditions also bounced back with the NAB saying “March business conditions recorded a notable lift, with each component (trading, profit, employment) posting an improvement – although employment continues to be relatively muted”. Their quantifier at the end of that statement is significant as it cuts to the crux of the problem at the moment, employment. It is going to take a sustained lift in business confidence and conditions before business’s start to commit to new investment and increase hiring intentions.
Following on the coat tails of the business survey will be Westpac’s monthly consumer sentiment survey. If it is to follow the recent trend from the ANZ-Roy Morgan Survey, then the market might be a little disappointed. Hopefully it can post a nice bounce, similar to business confidence last month.