ECONOMIC COMMENTARY

Towards the future of the Australian, Asian and global economies: latest updates on domestic, international and industrial trends from NAB Group Economics.

BUSINESS surveys

The NAB Cashless Retail Sales Index shows improvement in January following a weak December.

Overall sentiment around commercial property (measured by the NAB Commercial Property Index) moderated a little in Q4 (down 1 to +17) but is still well above the long-term average (+2).

Strong improvement in SME business conditions in Q4 2017, while confidence retreated a touch.

Elevated business conditions & confidence point to a robust business sector in Australia at present.

INSIGHTS, TRENDS AND CASE STUDIES

The NAB Cashless Retail Sales Index shows improvement in January following a weak December.

Overall sentiment around commercial property (measured by the NAB Commercial Property Index) moderated a little in Q4 (down 1 to +17) but is still well above the long-term average (+2).

Stability in financial markets over 2017 and early 2018 came to abrupt end in recent weeks, with a surge in market volatility and big falls in equity markets and prices for many commodities.

The calm in financial markets for much of 2017 and into early 2018 recently came to an abrupt end with a surge in market volatility and big falls in share prices.

Strong improvement in SME business conditions in Q4 2017, while confidence retreated a touch.

Global upturn to continue despite market turbulence.

CoreLogic reported further slippage in dwelling values over the first month of 2018, with national dwelling values recording their second consecutive month on month decline. After dwelling values held firm in October and November, they slipped by a third of a percent in both December and January to be down 0.7% from their peak.

The RBI held the benchmark Repo rate at 6% at its February meeting. This decision was in line with expectations.

Cautious optimism, but much depends on wages and the consumer.

Elevated business conditions & confidence point to a robust business sector in Australia at present.

2018 has seen a fairly mixed start to the year, with significant differences between regions and industries.

The quarterly NAB Business Survey gives a more in-depth probe into the conditions facing Australian business than the monthly survey, and also provides extra information about how firms perceive the outlook for their respective industries.

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