Finance and property have come out as the two shining industries of the Australian economy, driving the first lift in business confidence since 2011, according to NAB’s latest Quarterly Business Survey.

Despite the small rally in confidence, business sentiment remains well below trend average, according to the report

The hike in confidence is the first quarterly rise in sentiment since December 2011, reflecting the unwinding of concern surrounding a number of external risks, including the avoiding of the US fiscal cliff, solid data coming from China and the reduced risk of the European crisis.

According to NAB, the survey indicates domestic demand rowth of around 2.25 per cent, with activity expected to soften in the June quarter as capital expenditure is tipped to decrease.

Despite the increase in sentiment, conditions are subdued across the market and consumer dependent sectors, with forward indicators and medium term expectations still very poor, implying that lower interest rates need more time to filter down.

“Business investment intentions (next 12 months) lifted a touch in Q1 but remained low relative to outcomes a year or two ago,” the report concluded.

Despite the lacklustre confidence rates, consumer sentiment has posted its seventh consecutive month of growth, according to the Commonwealth Bank’s Business Sales Indicator.

NAB's full report can be found here