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Employer confidence slips in April

Employer confidence slips in April

(15 May 2013 – Australia) Business confidence in April slumped with employers particularly worried about weaker-than-forecast growth in China, the United States and Europe.

A new survey showed the mining sector’s confidence reading was at its lowest point since the global financial crisis, as resource companies grappled with sliding commodity prices and as mining investment approached its peak.

And while the latest business confidence reading is above 2012 levels it is well below the long-term trend even though it follows a series of rate cuts last year that took the Reserve Bank of Australia's cash rate to 3 percent.

The source speculated upon its release that business confidence may have slipped due to political uncertainty.

'It is possible that uncertainty over the potential implications of tomorrow (Tuesday)'s budget announcement, and the upcoming election, is keeping firms on edge.'

The business confidence index fell by four points in April to a reading of minus two.

But the mining sector's reading was negative 39, posting a second consecutive large monthly fall.

Overall business conditions were subdued but had recovered to minus six in April, up marginally from March's minus seven reading, which was the worst since May 2009.

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