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Australia’s business conditions remain lacklustre

Australia’s business conditions improved modestly last quarter as sales picked up, but firms were less confident on the outlook and reluctant to hire, an industry survey shows.

National Australia Bank’s (NAB) quarterly survey of more than 900 firms showed its measure of business conditions edged up a point to 3 in the first quarter, a couple of points above the long-run average.

However, its measure of business confidence dipped 2 points to -1 with firms blaming uncertainty about the outlook for the global economy.