Business conditions improved in September, recording an increase in the areas of trading (up 6 index points), profitability (up 2 index points) and employment (up 8 index points), according to the September NAB Monthly Business Survey.

The increased confidence has built on the gains of last month and is now well above the trough in March, after the pandemic hit.

Conditions are now above average in WA, SA and QLD, pointing to an ongoing recovery in those states – and though NSW remains negative, it also improved in the month.

The report says: “Confidence rose in most industries in the month, though the gains in retail and recreational & personal services were marginal; and finance, business & property services was unchanged in the month. Confidence is now neutral or positive in all industries except retail and the services industries – personal & recreation and finance, business & property services.”