Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Economists sound recession warning

Economists have declared the non-farm economy is heading into recession after a National Australia Bank (NAB) monthly survey found business confidence is at a record low.

The NAB index dropped one point in November to a new low of negative-30 as forward orders fell to 1991 levels.

Confidence is down across all industries and all sectors apart from mining and transport are reporting their actual business conditions worsened last month.

NAB chief economist Alan Oster now says the total economy will contract this quarter.

"We wouldn't say there's a recession in the total economy, but it does look like the non-farm economy is probably going to be going into a moderate recession," he said.

NAB has also cut growth forecasts for next year which had predicted gross domestic product would expand by 1.3 per cent.

The bank is now expecting the economy to grow by just 0.5 per cent.

Earlier today Dun and Bradstreet released its survey of business expectations, which showed executives are expecting sales and profits to continue to worsen.

Nearly one in five executives surveyed expected to have fewer staff in the quarter ahead than they did a year ago.

Dun and Bradstreet's managing director Christine Christian says the drop in the Australian dollar has shaken business confidence.

"Very few businesses are planning to create new jobs in the coming quarter," she said.

"Most businesses are concerned at the flow-on effect the recent layoffs particularly by the finance sector and what impact that's going to have on the economy more generally."

Warning: Save your dollars because we're not going to hear about it on the 6 O'clock news but we're heading for a depression not just a recession. It is very predictable and the worst case could be something up to the level of the Great Depression which was 20 per cent unemployment and lasting up to a decade.


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