THE NAB business survey reported this week that both business conditions and business confidence ended 2013 and began 2014 at above average levels.
The previous occasion both were above average was April 2011.
Australian bond future prices are weaker after the rise in business confidence and conditions further signalled an end to the interest rate cut cycle.
In January, the conditions index rose 1pt to +4 and business confidence rose 2pts to +8.
The conditions index averaged 0, dating back to 1989, while confidence averaged + 5 over this period.
The January survey was in the field from January 28 to February 3. (Reliability of updates at this time of year is not as great as usual with many on, or just return- ing from, summer holidays.)
A trend improvement in business conditions is apparent from August 2013, when the index was at -7, with the economy benefitting from an easing of monetary conditions. The RBA lowered rates in May and August 2013, and the Australian dollar dipped below US90¢ in August, down from US103¢ in April.
Also, global conditions and global sentiment showed some improvement during the third quarter of 2013.
By state, the conditions index was positive in January in each state with the exception of Queensland, which is feeling the impact of drought and some cooling of conditions in the mining sector.
Conditions in WA, which were +4 in the month, will come under pres
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