According to the January monthly business survey, confidence was up for the first time in four months – both near or above trend levels – despite soft labour market conditions.
“Now that conditions are on the rise, confidence may continue its run of surprising post-election resilience for a while longer,” the report read.
“Confidence is now positive for most industries, although wholesale and mining are both negative – significant given the increased importance of mining to the Australian economy.”
The results showed that confidence was generally positive across all states.
“Manufacturing recorded a surprisingly strong turnaround – somewhat counter to other industry indicators. The next best improvement was in construction, followed by retail," it read.
“All other industries deteriorated. Forward orders look more supportive of better conditions, but capacity utilisation remains below long-run averages, and the employment index still suggests a jobless recovery.”