Confidence lift sought

Businesses are hoping for a Budget confidence boost to help lift their bottom lines and the overall economy.

Confidence took a battering from Joe Hockey's first Budget, with business and consumer sentiment dropping sharply.

That fed into a slowdown in economic activity that coincided with a slowdown in wages and a big fall in key commodity prices. NAB's measure of business confidence showed it stuck at a sub-trend level while trading conditions deteriorated through last month.

Key measures of profitability and employment also fell in the survey, which was taken before the Reserve Bank sliced official interest rates last week.

NAB's chief economist Alan Oster said the non-mining sector had to improve far more to offset the decline in the mining parts of the economy. The Government will use the Budget to confirm it will look to sell four properties in Canberra to boost the nation's finances.

It will also go ahead with its plans to sell the registry service of Australian Securities and Investments Commission and the Australian Rail Track Corporation.


BUDGET 2015

FEDERAL PACKAGE TO ENERGISE SMALL BUSINESS
MAKE OR BREAK BUDGET
UNIONS, BOSSES OPPOSE LEAVE CUTS
MORE TO FIGHT HOMEGROWN TERROR
QUESTIONS OVER CHILDCARE JOBS PLAN FAMILIES WELCOME HELP ON FEES
PARENTAL LEAVE CHANGE IS FAIR: CORMANN
DOUBLE-UP PARENTAL LEAVE CUT
CHANCES OF SURPLUS THIS DECADE GONE
MORE FEDERAL GOVT AGENCIES TO GO

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