A lacklustre 'confidence' result, but do note the 'conditions' index tends to be more objective.
Main points/remarks via NAB:
Business conditions rose further in December to its highest level since late 2018
- fourth consecutive month of improvement
- employment conditions are back in positive territory for the first time since the start of the pandemic
- conditions are now well above average
- confidence pulled back in NSW, Victoria and Queensland
- In part, this likely reflects the impact of the Sydney COVID-19 outbreak through December
leading indicators suggest the pipeline of work continues to build - pointing to an ongoing recovery in the months ahead
- capacity utilisation saw further gains and is now around its long-run average (and pre-virus levels)
- forward orders pulled back but remain in positive territory
Most indicators within the survey are now broadly at or above pre-virus levels, with the exceptions being export conditions - no surprise given the pandemic continues to disrupt global trade -and capital expenditure.
- employment index rising 13pts to 9
- Trading (up 5pts)
- profitability (down 2pts)
- All three sub-indices are above average, for the first time since early 2019.