Business confidence +3

  • prior -12
  • December's -12 was a huge collapse, the rise to +3 in January is largely on an easing of coronavirus cocnerns

Business conditions also +3

  • prior 8
  • the conditions index is more objective than the confidence measure (which is sentiment-based after all)
  • while the drop is unwelcome conditions are well above the worst of the pandemic conditions in 2020 and 2021

Some of the sub measures:

  • sales +7 (from +14 prior)
  • profitability +2 (from +10)
  • employment -1 (from +2)

Purchase costs rose at a record quarterly pace of +3.4%

Labour costs steady at +1.9%

Retail price growth lower at +1.3%

NAB commentary (in brief)

  • Confidence fell sharply in December as the Omicron variant began to spread, but rebounded in January, reflecting that the outbreak looks to have peaked quickly and lockdowns have been avoided. That positive outlook is underpinned by forward orders, which held steady through January despite the disruption.
  • Conditions have remained in positive territory and are nowhere near as bad as we saw during lockdowns imposed in 2020 and 2021
  • The economy is facing a period of elevated inflation while supply chain issues remain unresolved