Australian business confidence improves

Last Updated: Tue, Jan 29, 2013 07:20 hrs

Sydney, Jan 29 (IANS) Business confidence in Australia lifted in December 2012, a monthly business survey released Tuesday by the National Australia Bank (NAB) showed.

NAB's monthly business survey showed business confidence rose to an index level of plus three in December from minus nine in November.

The business confidence index in November was the lowest level in years, reported Xinhua.

The survey also found that Australia's business conditions remained subdued at minus four in December, while profitability improved five points but remained negative at minus six.

NAB said business conditions were weakest in the sectors of wholesale, manufacturing, retail and construction but were relatively favourable in transport and utilities and recreation and personal services.

"Wholesale business conditions collapsed in the final months of 2012 - to its lowest level in the history of the survey," NAB's chief economist Alan Oster noted in a report.

"The weakness in wholesale conditions is a real concern as it appears to be a leading indicator of overall business conditions."

The bank expects the Australian economy to grow at 2 percent in 2013 and 3.3 percent in 2014.

More from Sify: