Australia’s business confidence drops as Delta variant surges
Australia’s business sentiments fell in July as the COVID-19 Delta variant infections resulted in stricter stay-at-home orders. Virus leaks also triggered emergency lockdowns in other major cities.
National Australia Bank (NAB) on Tuesday said business confidence dropped to minus-8 points from plus-11 in June. The conditions index that measures hiring, sales, and profits declined to 11 points from a revised 25.
All three components of NAB’s business conditions fell: trading shed 20 points; profitability, 19; and employment, 8.
Meanwhile, Australia & New Zealand Banking Group’s weekly gauge of consumer confidence also tumbled below the neutral level of 100, a first time since early November last year.
Australia’s east coast, the nation’s most populated area, has been under strict COVID-19 restrictions due to the highly infectious Delta variant. Sydney is now in its seventh week of lockdown.