RTTNews - Business confidence in Australia turned positive in June for the first time since December 2007, results of the latest survey by the National Australia Bank revealed.

The business confidence index stood at 4 in June compared to minus 2 in the preceding month. The NAB also said its measure of current business conditions improved, but remained modestly in the negative territory. The business conditions index rose 12 points in June to a reading of minus 2.

The report said the business conditions appeared to have rebounded to a level roughly similar to that reported prior to the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September last year and the global meltdown in activity that ensued.

Meanwhile, the labor market index rose 18 points to minus 7, the largest monthly rise in the survey's history.

However, this was not reflected in the jobless rate, which climbed to 5.8% in June from 5.7% in May, the highest since October 2003, a report by the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed.

Meanwhile, a number of positive news from the Australian economy indicated the worst for the economy was almost over. The consumer confidence index surged to its highest level in 19 months in July, the latest report from the Westpac and Melbourne Institute said earlier in the month.

A report released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics said the housing commitments for owner occupation rose a seasonally adjusted 2.3% in May compared to April. Owner occupied housing commitments increased to A$17.04 billion from A$16.6 billion in the preceding month.

In its latest Monetary policy meeting the Reserve Bank of Australia kept the interest rate unchanged at a 49-year low of 3%. The central bank said the economic conditions have to date not been as weak as expected a few months ago.

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