Business confidence up in June: NAB

National business confidence rose in the June quarter.

The NAB Business Confidence Index increased 20 per cent to -4, an improvement of the -24 reported in the March quarter.

The result is the highest since the start of the global financial crisis and the collapse of US investment bank Lehman Brothers.

NAB said job shedding eased in the second quarter but was still high.

The federal government is anticipating unemployment to peak at 8.5pc next year.

Big improvement

The survey author said its index result was a “significant” rise in both near and long term business expectations.

Better trading and profit outcomes contributed to an improvement in the business conditions index, which rose 11 points to -9 (from -20).

NAB expects national Gross Domestic Product to contract by 0.5 pc for calendar year 2009.

“That in part reflects some scepticism as to the recorded strength in Q1 national accounts but, more fundamentally, given the extent of recent wealth destruction we still expect very low growth in consumption especially after the cash bonuses wash out and unemployment increases”.

First quarter GDP was 0.4 pc.

Had Australia reported negative growth it would technically have been in recession.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of