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Australian business confidence falls further

Australian business confidence is at its lowest since just before last year’s federal election, according to figures released from the National Australia Bank today.

The NAB Monthly Business Survey revealed the index dropped 2 points (to +5) in September, with diminishing profits and a challenging competitive landscape playing a hand in declining numbers.

The construction industry saw the biggest fall in confidence, which the NAB said might highlight the slowing of industry growth and the rise in red tape surrounding residential property markets. Mining and wholesale were the only industries reporting a negative confidence index (-22 and -3 points respectively).

The business conditions index also dropped 2 points during September, which follows a 5-point decline in August.

‘”The multi-year high for business conditions in July appears to have been a flash in the pan,” the NAB said.

The forward orders index also fell, dropping 1 to -1 index points. The NAB said that this was “below the long run average for the monthly series.”

“The effects of soft national income growth – a function of lower commodity prices, excess capacity and cautious spending behaviour – are being felt across the economy,” the NAB said.

“This has been reflected in most industries, with conditions falling in the month for all but transport and utilities and recreation and personal services.”