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‘Worse than I was expecting’: Australian business confidence collapses to record lows

NAB’s monthly business survey reveals Australian business confidence has slumped to its lowest level on record as the nation grapples with an economy forced to shutdown.

The March figures in the closely watched survey plunged to -66 points, down from -2 points in February, setting a new record low for corporate pessimism and surpassing levels seen during the GFC.

NAB Chief Economist Alan Oster tells Scott Haywood the survey results are “not good and probably worse than I was expecting,”

Mr Oster says rock bottom confidence was to be expected but was alarmed by the corresponding falls in a wide range of additional economic metrics.

“To see things like forward orders and capacity utilisation at levels below the worst parts of the 1990 recession was a bit sobering,

“The other measure – what we call business conditions, things like sales, profits, employment – it wasn’t at the bottom of the 1990 recession but it’s getting there very quickly,

“All these measures fell faster than any time we’ve ever seen before.”

Click PLAY to hear more from NAB Chief Economist Alan Oster