Australian firms have shrugged off the sharp slide in consumer sentiment since the federal budget, with business confidence increasing in the past month.
The closely-watched National Australia Bank monthly business survey shows sentiment improved in June despite fears the budget will see consumers reluctant to open their wallets.
Consumer sentiment dived to its lowest level in three years in the wake of the May budget but businesses have remained relatively upbeat.
The NAB survey shows business sentiment lifted one point to an index level of eight; a reading above zero indicates optimists outnumber pessimists.
Meanwhile, Business conditions moved into positive territory during June, lifting three points to an index level of two during the month, according to the survey.
The rise in sentiment coincided with a sharp lift in job advertisements, with ANZ’s job ads survey on Monday showing a 4.3 per cent increase in ads during June.
NAB chief economist Alan Oster said the increase in confidence was unexpected and showed businesses continued to expect an improvement in trading conditions.
“Firms still appear to have shrugged off the negative consumer reaction to the Federal budget,” he said.
“Business confidence has remained resilient for the better part of a year despite below average business conditions.”
The NAB survey showed confidence was strongest in the construction industry, which has been spurred on by strong growth in residential building approvals, while the mining sector also recorded a surprise improvement in confidence, despite difficult conditions.