Melbourne daily life construction workers
A survey will illustrate how well businesses have been faring in the face of cost pressures. Image by Diego Fedele/AAP PHOTOS
  • economy, business and finance

Resilience of Australian businesses under a microscope

Poppy Johnston October 8, 2023

Australian businesses have so far managed to keep the wheels turning even as the economy sours.

A survey of the business sector by National Australia Bank will illustrate how well firms have been faring in the face of higher interest rates and cost pressures.

The monthly reports also include price movements across materials, labour and other inputs needed to run a business, as well as the amount firms are charging for their goods and services.

Retail shopper Perth
Taming inflation remains the core challenge for the Australian economy.

The September edition of the monthly survey is due for release on Tuesday.

Business conditions as tracked in the bank’s survey actually picked up in August, with the strong jobs market and high levels of migration keeping spending ticking along at an aggregate level.

Consumers are showing signs of financial pain, however, with spending directed into essentials rather than nice-to-haves and confidence levels stuck deep in negative territory.

The monthly sentiment index from Westpac and Melbourne Institute, also expected on Tuesday, will provide a timely update into the minds of consumers.

ANZ and Roy Morgan will release the weekly consumer confidence report on the same day. 

The CommBank household spending insights report, due on Wednesday, will drill down into how consumers are actually behaving and spending their money.

Taming inflation remains the core challenge for the Australian economy, with price growth falling from its peak but still well above the Reserve Bank’s two to three per cent target range.

A senior official from the central bank, Christopher Kent – assistant governor, financial markets – is due to speak about the various ways changes in monetary policy settings affect the economy.

The address, titled ‘Channels of Transmission’, will be delivered at a Bloomberg event in Sydney on Wednesday.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics is scheduled to release a couple of important data sources, including the monthly business turnover indicator for August on Wednesday and overseas arrivals and departures on Friday.

Wall St sign outside New York Stock Exchange
Wall St rallied as investors assessed a jobs report that showed US hiring rose broadly.

Local investors will react to a rally on Wall St, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq on Friday registering their biggest daily percentage gains since late-August.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 288.01 points, or 0.87 per cent, to 33,407.58, the S&P 500 gained 50.31 points, or 1.18 per cent, to 4,308.5 and the Nasdaq Composite added 211.51 points, or 1.6 per cent, to 13,431.34.

For the week, the S&P 500 was up 0.5 per cent, the Dow fell 0.3 per cent and the Nasdaq rose 1.6 per cent.

Friday’s gains came as investors assessed a jobs report that showed US hiring rose broadly in September with slowing wage growth.

Australian share futures gained 58 points, or 0.83 per cent, to 7037.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index finished Friday up 28.7 points, or 0.41 per cent, at 6,954.2.