Interest rate cuts towards the end of 2012 have done little to ease business concern, the latest survey from NAB suggests.
The retail sector appeared to have been "a notable exception" in performance terms compared to other industries in National Australia’s Bank’s monthly business survey for August 2012.
Business conditions have improved in all industries but despite this, retail remains at "depressed levels".
The fall in consumer spending is reflected in the continuous drop in retail conditions as reported by National Australia Bank’s business survey for June.
According NAB, the fall was driven by a sharp fall in trading conditions and a drop in profitability but the business conditions index is slightly below the long-term average of 6 points.
The (NAB business survey for March reported that business confidence eased a little to 9 points, after increasing solidly in each of the previous two months.
The retail sentiment is now the weakest of all industries where it now sits at -13 points, while confidence is strongest in business services with 11 points.