Australian business confidence and conditions grew slightly in March, according to the National Australia Bank’s March business survey, with forward indicators marginally improving.
The survey indicated non-mining business sentiment had edged up slightly, and stated that domestic forecasts for unemployment were likely to remain unchanged.
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Businesses appeared slightly more confident about near-term activity in March than in February, although a degree of caution still seemed to be inhibiting hiring and investment decisions.
Conditions improved sharply in mining, but deteriorated in wholesale and recreation and personal services.
Mining conditions continued to outperform all other industries, especially in Western Australia, according to the report.
“While mining conditions continued to outperform all other industries, the modest pickup in conditions in February and March appears to have been more broadly based. Conditions strengthened sharply in WA for a second consecutive month, while Queensland was the only state to report weaker conditions,” the report says.