The NAB business confidence index in Australia edged up to 0 in April 2019 from a downwardly revised -1 in March but missing market consensus of 1. The latest reading held below its long-term average of 6 for the seventh straight month. Meantime, business conditions fell 4 points to 3, also below average of 6, as employment dropped below its average for the first time since late 2016 (down 7 points to -1); sales (down 4 points to 7) and profitability (down 4 points to 1). The decline in business conditions were broad-based with the exception of mining. Forward orders remained negative and below average (at -1) while exports deteriorated (-1 vs 0) and the capacity utilization rate was little-changed. “We will continue to watch the employment as well as the other forward looking variables over coming months for further slowing,” said NAB Group Chief Economist Alan Oster. Business Confidence in Australia averaged 5.92 Index Points from 1997 until 2019, reaching an all time high of 21 Index Points in April of 2002 and a record low of -30 Index Points in October of 2008.
Business Confidence in Australia is expected to be 5.50 Index Points by the end of this quarter, according to Trading Economics global macro models and analysts expectations. Looking forward, we estimate Business Confidence in Australia to stand at 8.00 in 12 months time. In the long-term, the Australia Business Confidence is projected to trend around 6.00 Index Points in 2020, according to our econometric models.