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Management Memos

Clues From The News!

Hints For Business from Today's News Stories

NAB Business Survey Reports Resilience in Business Confidence

The NAB Monthly Business Survey reports business sentiment to be resilient to negative influences over recent months, flowing into more stable (and above average) levels of labour demand. The September survey saw the business confidence index rise slightly in August – although the improvement in confidence was not broad based.

Business conditions (a combination of trading, profitability and employment conditions) eased back further in August, but is still above its long-run average. "The strength in business conditions remains largely confined to the major services and construction industries, while relatively subdued conditions in wholesale and retail warrant close monitoring – particularly in light of disappointing consumption growth in the Q2 National Accounts", the survey noted.

NAB said that while trading conditions eased, employment conditions held steady in August – pointing to ongoing employment growth. Inflation measures in the Survey generally stayed soft, with retail prices pulling back sharply. These results show a patchy, but sustained, improvement in the non-mining economy, with the major services sectors and construction leading the way. However, NAB noted that recent negative movements in retail and wholesale conditions will be a cause for concern should they continue. See the complete report at this link.

Here's your business clue: Business conditions keep improving, but the outlook is patchy. NAB expects all these factors to come to a head around 2018. Be optimistic - but cautious!

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