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David Plank, head of Australian economics at ANZ, notes that the Australian business conditions fell in February, reversing much of the bounce in January from the sharply weaker December numbers.

Key Quotes

“Business conditions fell to 4.4 in February, reversing much of the January rebound and moving back below the long-run average.”

“The details of the report were mostly consistent with the headline. One category to counter the downtrend was the employment index, which rose to 5.4 from 5 in January and 3.9 in December. It is still well below the levels prevailing through most of last year, however. What’s more, profitability and capacity use, which we find are also good indicators of labour market performance, are at their weakest levels for some years.”