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Australian December business confidence to be released


Australian December business confidence to be released

Australia business confidence
Photo: Julian Smith/ AAP

The National Australia Bank (NAB) is today set to release its business confidence measure for December.

The NAB business confidence index reached pre-pandemic levels of +12 in November 2020, a reflection of loosened COVID-19 related restrictions. The emergence of the state of Victoria, especially metropolitan centre Melbourne, from quarantine at the end of October led to a rise in business confidence in November.

Expect business confidence to remain high, given that daily COVID-19 case numbers have remained in the low double digits for the past few months. However, the nation’s December return to pre-Christmas restrictions may have prevented further index increase.

The business confidence index is likely to grow in the short-term, given that restrictions have been eased in January and clusters of cases have been contained. The country’s economy has shown signs of improvement, as the unemployment rate fell from its peak of 7.5% to 6.6% in December, though remaining well above pre-COVID-19 levels of 5%. GDP also registered a 3.3% growth in the third quarter of 2020. Vaccinations are expected to begin in February, making it more likely that Australia’s economy will rebound in 2021 after enduring its first recession in decades last year.

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