Two separate confidence surveys show that business has shrugged off the budget, but consumers are still wary.
Business appears to have shrugged off consumer anger about the federal budget for now but firms are still reluctant to take on new workers.
A prominent monthly survey found both business confidence and conditions rose in June, but its employment indicator fell.
Separate data shows even though Australians appear to have got over their worst concerns surrounding the budget, a recovery in their willingness to spend has stalled.
But Finance Minister Mathias Cormann was on Tuesday sticking to his guns on the budget, despite the fragility of consumer confidence.
“It is important to repair our budget if we want to protect our living standards into the future,” he told the Senate, where the government faces a tough challenge getting its budget measures through.
National Australia Bank’s monthly business report said its employment component pointed to a jobless rate rising to six per cent or slightly above in the near term.
NAB chief economist Alan Oster said the survey’s weak employment result reflects a move from labour-intensive mining operations and a decline in public sector employment, which is not being fully offset by rising jobs opportunities in the home building sector.
He expects low interest rates to remain until late next year.
Economists expect official labour force data for June, due on Thursday, will show the unemployment rate creeping up to 5.9 per cent, having held at 5.8 per cent for three months in a row.
This would still be shy of the six per cent rate predicted in the May budget, which also forecast 6.25 per cent for the financial year ahead.
The construction industry posted the strongest conditions in June and the highest confidence for a second month in a row, reflecting the upturn in residential activity.
Separately, the latest weekly ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer confidence survey showed the post-budget recovery has lost steam.
For a second consecutive week confidence eased 0.3 per cent per cent to be about nine per cent down from late April when budget leaks first emerged.
TD Securities head of Asia Pacific research Annette Beacher said while businesses continue to be more optimistic than households, it is a “phenomena that rarely lasts for long”.