National Australia Bank today released the Monthly Business Survey for March, which showed tentative signs of improvement in both business confidence and business conditions.
Business confidence improved from zero points in February to three points in March, with the post RBA cut fall in confidence reversed and although confidence remains low overall, NAB Chief Economist Alan Oster said it was a positive move.
“I think what it means (for the economy) is that you may just be starting to see the very first signs of the non-mining sector starting to improve. It’s the first month that we’ve seen that sort of result, but at this stage I’d like to see one or two more months like that,” Mr Oster said.
When looking at specific improvements in business conditions by industry, Mr Oster said that it was area such as construction, manufacturing, wholesale and services which were driving the uplift.
“When we look at it by industry what we’re seeing essentially is some improvements in the construction sector which is very heavily the apartment markets, you’re seeing some wholesale which is encouraging because that’s typically a leading indicator in the retail sector and consumers in the services area,” Mr Oster said.
The full NAB Monthly Business Survey – March can be found here.