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An upward trend for the economy says leading commentator

The domestic economy is in good shape with the business conditions still above long-term averages, record high employment index, retail trade rising, and growth in retail trade, reports leading business and financial commentator, Peter Switzer.


Results of the July NAB business survey reports: 

  • The business condition index recorded +12.4 points (long term average +5.7 points). A slight drop down from the +14.1 points result in June.
  •  The business confidence index rose to +6.6 points (long-term average +6.0). A 20-month low of +5.6 points was recorded the previous month.
  •  The employment index had a new record high of +9.58 (long term average +1.7 points).  Mr. Switzer indicated that this index is an excellent gauge of how a business is travelling and their positivity for the future – their willingness to employ staff.


The average credit card debt grew by $56.40 in May to $3,251.30 which is an increase of 4.1% over the year. This is the strongest yearly growth rate in over 7 years. While some would say this is a negative, Mr. Switzer indicates this is a positive for some businesses as they would be beneficiaries of this spending.


Retail trade has witnessed three consecutive months of growth with 0.4% in June, 0.4% in May and 0.5% in April. Annual spending growth moved from 2.5% to 2.9%.  


In positive property and construction news, CommSec reported that council approvals for new homes were up 6.4% in June which is the greatest increase since January. A record rolling total of house approvals for Greater Brisbane has been logged – sitting at 14,715 for the 12 months to June.


Commsec also indicated a joint Westpac/Melbourne Institute survey recorded the best results in 4.5 years in regards to the consumer sentiment index, with growth grew of 3.9% in July to 106.1. The long term average of this index is 101.4, with a reading of above 100 indicating optimism.


Trade surplus for May increased from $725 to $1,873 million in June which was the 11th surplus in 13 months.


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