As coronavirus restrictions loosened in Sydney and Melbourne, the Australian business condition showed further improvements. The alleviation of restrictions combined with an increase in employment paints a bright future for the economy. A survey from National Australia Bank (NAB) on Tuesday showed its index of business conditions rose 2 points in November to +12.
This was accompanied by a notable 5 point jump in employment to +11. Earlier this month ANZ Bank published data which revealed that Australian job ads grew by a record 44.2% in November 2021, in comparison to pre-pandemic levels. Reportedly, the total number of job ads reached 222,093 in November.
NAB Chief Economist Alan Oster forecasted an overall strong recovery for the economy stating, “There is still scope for things to improve further in coming months, particularly in recreation & personal services which was still in negative territory in November despite many restrictions easing in the month.”
However, the emergence of the Omicron variant could pose a risk to this growth as experts have declared it to be more infectious than the Delta variant. So far, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has promised to avoid imposing yet another hard lockdown while businesses and communities recover.
The NAB survey also revealed signs of inflation with retail and producer prices firming, while labour costs were lifted by the substantial gain in employment.