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NAB Monthly Business Survey June 2024

NAB’s latest Business Survey showed conditions have worsened in June with the outlook for employment taking a notable hit. On the bright side firms were a little more confident as some cost pressures ease though NAB says the data remains bumpy. Business confidence rose sharply to hit its highest level since early 2023 while conditions fell 2 points continuing the long running trend since peaking in late 2022.

Alan Oster | Group Chief Economists

Summary

Business conditions edged down further in the month, continuing the long running trend since peaking in late 2022. Conditions declined in wholesale, construction, manufacturing and finance, business & property in the month, with the non-mining goods sectors now clearly softer than the services sectors. Retail, despite increasing in the month, remains weakest (and the only industry in negative territory) in trend terms. Business confidence – driven by a broad-based increase across industries - rose sharply in the month to its highest level since early 2023. While the activity side of the survey has shown a consistent easing, capacity utilisation remains high. This all lines up with the slowing in activity we have seen more broadly but also with a still high level of demand, relative to supply in the economy. Consistent with this, price and cost growth variables generally remain elevated. That said, encouragingly, both labour and purchase cost growth largely reversed last month’s increase, and output price growth also slowed.

Survey Details

  • Business confidence rose 6pts to +4 index points. The increase in confidence was broad-based across industries, led by an increase in manufacturing. Confidence remains weakest (and negative) in retail and wholesale.
  • Business conditions fell 2pts to +4 index points. Employment fell 6pts to 0 index points (unrounded), and profitability fell 1pt to +2 index points. Trading conditions were broadly flat at +10 index points (unrounded).
  • By industry, conditions declined in wholesale (down 14pts), construction (down 10pts), manufacturing (down 6pts) and finance, business, & property (down 3pts). In trend terms, conditions remain weakest in retail at -4 index points.
  • By State, conditions eased sharply in Tas (down 20pts), declined in NSW and SA (both down 7pts) and edged down in WA (down 2pts) and Vic (down 1pt). Qld (up 6pts) was the only state to increase in the month. Overall, in trend terms, conditions remain strongest in Tas, Qld and WA.
  • Forward orders were flat at -7 index points (unrounded) and are now weakest in retail, manufacturing, mining and wholesale in trend terms. Capex fell 5pts to -1 index points, while capacity utilisation edged up to 83.5%.
  • Labour cost growth fell to 1.8% in quarterly equivalent terms and purchase cost growth eased to 1.3%.

Product price growth eased to 0.7%, unwinding last month’s increase. Of the consumer sectors, Retail price growth edged up to 1.5%, while recreation & personal services prices growth fell back to 0.7%.

 

View the full report here

 

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All prices and analysis at 9 July 2024.  This information has been prepared by National Australia Bank Limited ABN 12 004 044 937 AFSL 230686 ("NAB"). The content is distributed by WealthHub Securities Limited (WSL) (ABN 83 089 718 249)(AFSL No. 230704). WSL is a Market Participant under the ASIC Market Integrity Rules and a wholly owned subsidiary of National Australia Bank Limited (ABN 12 004 044 937)(AFSL No. 230686) (NAB). NAB doesn’t guarantee its subsidiaries’ obligations or performance, or the products or services its subsidiaries offer.  This material is intended to provide general advice only. It has been prepared without having regard to or taking into account any particular investor’s objectives, financial situation and/or needs. All investors should therefore consider the appropriateness of the advice, in light of their own objectives, financial situation and/or needs, before acting on the advice.  Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.  Any comments, suggestions or views presented do not reflect the views of WSL and/or NAB.  Subject to any terms implied by law and which cannot be excluded, neither WSL nor NAB shall be liable for any errors, omissions, defects or misrepresentations in the information or general advice including any third party sourced data (including by reasons of negligence, negligent misstatement or otherwise) or for any loss or damage (whether direct or indirect) suffered by persons who use or rely on the general advice or information. If any law prohibits the exclusion of such liability, WSL and NAB limit its liability to the re-supply of the information, provided that such limitation is permitted by law and is fair and reasonable. For more information, please click here.


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