Reflective of the ABS retail trade figures, the National Australia Bank’s monthly business survey for April shows while business conditions deteriorated across all industries, with the exception of retail and mining.

According the survey, retail trading conditions was up 14 points for the month, even though conditions in that sector remain at subdued level with the boost received by further aggressive discounting.

At the same time, business confidence overall picked up a little in April rising by 1 point to +4 index points, consolidating a pick up in the previous month. Looking specifically at retail, confidence rose to +8 points this is despite on going poor results for activity in that sector.

Despite this, retail prices fell significantly in the month from -0.1 in March to -0.7 in April – the sharpest fall across all sectors on a quarterly rate. NAB said this suggests that core inflation could well surprise on the downside (again) in the June quarter.