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Business conditions fell to their lowest level in more than six years in February, while confidence remained well into negative territory. Most of the component indices were weak, in particular profitability and forward orders, economists at ANZ Research report.

Key quotes

“Business conditions fell to 0.4pts in February, the lowest reading since September 2014, which came in the wake of the badly-received 2014 budget.”

“Business confidence fell to -3.6pts, the fourth straight negative reading and the lowest since July 2013.”

“Profitability was down sharply, with the index dropping from 0.9 to -5.0pts, while forward orders were also quite weak, declining from -1.0 to -3.9pts. Capacity utilisation edged down from 81.3% to 81.1%.”

“The employment index actually edged a little higher, from 0.8 to 1.7ppts, but continues to suggest that employment growth will slow.”


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