Business conditions have fallen in most industries, except for construction, according to the latest NAB monthly business survey,
Conditions were down in the manufacturing, retail, finance, and mining sectors.
NAB chief economist Alan Oster said the pick-up in construction reflected “likely reflecting the large pipeline of both residential and infrastructure-related work.”
Recreational and personal services and wholesale also saw a small improvement in the month.
Conditions in the retail sector were at the opposite end of the scale. “The retail sector remains clearly the weakest, declining again in the month to see the retail conditions index fall to 0 points,” Mr Oster said.
The business conditions index fell by 2pts to +12 index points in July. This continues its downward trend since April and is now well down from the peak levels reported from October last year through to April. But the numbers are still above their long-run average of +6.
Perceptions of falling profitability (-4) and trading conditions (-5) were behind the business owners reporting declining conditions.
On the flip side, business confidence ticked up 1pt to +7 index points, putting it an around average level.
The survey also suggests that employment growth should be solid for the year.
Mr Oster said this “should see the unemployment rate continue to edge lower over the rest of 2018″.