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Confidence climbs but consumers wary

Staff Reporter 3 minute read

Business confidence climbed six points in July to reach its highest mark since August 2007, the National Australia Bank monthly business survey has found.

The lift in sentiment was thanks, in large part, to a spike in confidence from builders and manufacturers.

Confidence in these sectors jumped to 10 points, up from lows of about minus 30 just a few months ago.

The spike in confidence echoes suggestions from the Reserve Bank of Australia that the risk of a severe recession has abated and a recovery in housing construction and a big lift in public expenditure will help offset a slowdown in consumer spending and business investment to deliver the economy some momentum in 2010.

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That said the survey also showed that consumer sentiment was down this month thanks to the ongoing effects of a deteriorating labour market.

“While house prices have been very strong recently, higher unemployment and the withdrawal of the first home owner grant boost funding is still likely to see house prices move down moderately over the next year or so,” the survey said.

Confidence climbs but consumers wary
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