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Employment hopes boom

EMPLOYMENT expectations are the best they have been for four and a half years according to the latest Dun & Bradstreet Business Expectations Survey.

It found Australian business executives expecting to employ more staff in the quarter rose to 18 per cent.

Durables manufacturers showed a large recovery in their expectations for hiring additional employees.

The manufacturing index rose 8 per cent to 16 per cent.

However, wholesalers’ and retailers’ employment expectations fell.

The survey also shows profit growth expectations remain strong after the decline in expectations in mid-1998.

However, Dun & Bradstreet Australia and New Zealand managing director Christine Christian said the proportion of firms reporting an actual increase in profits remained well below the proportion expecting an increase.

Ms Christian said in the past three months executives had eased their high level of optimism for growth in sales, orders and profits.

She said optimism by manufacturers for growth in sales, orders and profits continued to improve.

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