Prime Minister Gillard called an election for September at the start of the year and the games have begun between her and the Coalition. Business owners telling me this has unsettled their markets, orders been dropping, a lot of people putting their plans for the future on hold until after the election. These sentiments confirmed a bit in today’s NAB business confidence survey.

In their words “Business conditions and confidence edged down in February…no immediate recovery on the horizon…conditions weakened and continued to be negative suggesting an economy continuing to grow below trend…fall in profitability…conditions remain difficult for many industries especially construction and manufacturing…a most concerning slump in forward ordering…the index declining to its lowest level since May 2009.”

I don’t expect things to change until after September 14. An earlier date could be even better.