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Australia business conditions surge in March, inflation runs hot

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People are silhouetted against the Sydney Opera House at sunset in Australia, November 2, 2016. REUTERS/Steven Saphore/File Photo

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SYDNEY, April 12 (Reuters) – A measure of Australian business conditions picked up sharply in March as firms saw strong sales and labour conditions, while surging costs pushed retail prices higher in a worrying sign for inflation.

Tuesday’s survey from National Australia Bank (NAB) (NAB.AX) showed its index of business conditions doubled to +18 in March, while confidence added 3 points to +16.

The upbeat result will likely be welcomed by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who is in the middle of a tough election campaign. read more

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The survey’s measure of sales jumped 13 points to +24, while profitability rose 8 points to +13. The employment index added 4 points to +12, suggesting the…

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