NAB CEO on the economy, simplification, and the future of banking

National Australia Bank

NAB CEO Ross McEwan has expressed optimism about the state of the economy, while also noting the need to reduce red tape to better support the growth of small businesses in Australia.

In a wide-ranging discussion at the Australian Banking Association and Trans-Tasman Business Circle ‘Economic Forecast 2024’ event in Sydney, Mr McEwan said both the Australian and New Zealand economies had been resilient amid challenging conditions.

Read NAB CEO Ross McEwan’s full speech here.

“The economies of both countries have stood up pretty well, and individuals have stood up, I think very well,” he said.

“Full employment helps. When you are running unemployment levels at 4, 4.1 per cent, those are amazingly good levels, which keeps money in people’s pockets and helps them manage to pay their mortgage.”

Mr McEwan said he remains optimistic the economy will improve by the end of 2024.

“We’ll see how the tax changes go and when interest rates start coming back,” he said.

“But [the economy] is very resilient and I think will continue to be. And we’ll be in okay shape the rest of the year.”

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