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Business conditions, expectations weaken

Staff Reporter 3 minute read

Business conditions continued to deteriorate in February, National Australia Bank’s monthly business survey confirmed yesterday.

According to the NAB index, business conditions fell 9 points in February to -20 index points, a level not seen since June 1992.

A wave of bleak economic data and forecasts in recent weeks has also seen business expectations about the months ahead slide.

The latest Dun & Bradstreet survey, also released yesterday, found 57 per cent of Australian firms expect sales to decline further in the June quarter; 65 per cent expect profits to decline.

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The survey’s employment growth indicator also plunged to the lowest level ever recorded.

Off the back of the weak February survey and weaker forecasts for the global economy, NAB said it had revised its domestic growth forecast to -1 per cent in 2009.

The bank said the RBA had paused on rates, but had not finished. It expects the cash rate to fall to 2 per cent by late 2009.

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