NAB business survey is a disaster for wages

The October NAB business survey is out and remains fugly.

Overall, the survey saw a modest improvement in September. Conditions are around the levels seen in early 2020 but remain well below average. The improvement in conditions was driven by a rise in all three subcomponents – trading and profitability are in positive territory, likely reflecting improving activity as the economy opens up. The employment index remains negative, suggesting that business remains cautious and not yet ready to restore previous employment levels. The impact of the virus remains evident in Vic where conditions are notably weaker than the other states. On the other hand, conditions are now above average in WA, SA and Qld pointing to an ongoing recovery in those states. NSW remains negative but also improved in the month. Confidence saw further improvement in the month and is well above the March trough, but remains in negative territory. While confidence and conditions have rebounded relatively quickly, forward looking indicators remain soft after only seeing marginal gains in recent months. Forward orders remain very weak which likely is a driver of weak confidence and suggests that capacity utilisation will likely only gradually recover.

Some points:

  • Non-virus states much stronger than virus states, irrespective of lockdowns.
  • Forward orders, exports and capex are still terrible, indicating weakness ahead.
  • Capacity utilisation is a disaster, still hovering around the levels fo of the 1990 recession before we slash public support.
  • Jobs are terrible everywhere except retail which is the only place left to spend!
  • Forget wage increases despite crashed immigration.
  • Forget immigration while wages crater.

Full report.

David Llewellyn-Smith
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  1. happy valleyMEMBER

    “Forget immigration while wages crater”

    No, no, no – not on ScoMo’s watch. Immigration to the moon will return soon enough – wage slavery is an LNP core promise.

  2. What is all this ‘slashing of public support‘ all about? I see cash splash, wage subsidies, and stimulus galore in the budget. Loads to look forward to for business.

    • Jumping jack flash

      Nah, with a debt economy you can’t really have rising wages, it just can’t happen.

      The insatiable need for enormous and ever-growing piles of debt absorbs all spare capacity out of the economy that could be used for increasing wages.

      The only few ways to get increasing wages in the New Economy is to be a monopoly or oligopoly and/or a provider of essential goods and services. The other way is through wage theft.

  3. Jumping jack flash

    Advanced manufacturing will save us. Subsidised wages and more immigration than ever before. That should get the wage stats jumping.

    One last push to get the debt growth to the rate it needs to be. One last push to bail out all the Quiet Australians out of work and drowning in debt.

    Just wait and see.