National’s Quarterly Business Survey: June Quarter, 2005 “points to
stabilisation of business conditions, but lower confidence and
expectations.”

The details include:

  • Labour market strength continues.
  • So-called “cyclical” sectors still weak, but strength in mining, non-residential and services.
  • Capacity utilisation, 12-month business and investment expectations all down somewhat.
  • Prices – including retail – edging up but labour costs lower as skill shortages start to ease.

The other important bit of local economic news is really a
question. What is Peter Costello up to? His “hairy-chested”
remarks about possibly extending the abolition of unfair dismissal laws
to large companies have drawn flack from the unions and the ALP, and
have been disowned by weak-kneed industry organisations, but have also
drawn support from”growing number of Coalition MPs,” according to Age writer Misha Schubert. Time will tell, but this is a clear answer on the “ticker” question.

Read the full story here.

Peter Fray

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