Business conditions have deteriorated sharply in March to their lowest point since March 2009, with previously strong gains posted by retail and manufacturing beginning to flag.

The NAB Monthly Business Survey concluded that more time was needed for low interest rates to convert into solid economic gains.

Despite the deteriorating conditions and declining consumer confidence, businesses have remained unfazed by the events in Europe and unsightly political fisticuffs at home. Business confidence has remained resilient in the face of the falling conditions, lifting marginally in the March period.

Flagging capital expenditure, depressed employment data and plateauing profitability are all considered the main culprits behind the lacklustre March results.

Overall, the survey implies underlying demand growth (6-monthly annualised) of around 2¼% in the March quarter. Our wholesale leading indicator suggests little near-term improvement in already weak activity levels.

The full report can be found here