Consumer confidence has jumped by 12 per cent in the first quarter of this year after an off-trend dip in December, according to the latest WA Super-CCI Survey of Consumer Confidence.
About 67 per cent of consumers expect the WA economy to improve or remain unchanged in the short-term, an increase of 12 per cent from 55 per cent in the December quarter.
Medium-term confidence was also on the up, with a 12 per cent lift in the number of consumers expecting the economy to strengthen over the next 12 months.
Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Western Australia (CCI) Chief Executive Officer Deidre Willmott says whichever party forms State Government this weekend must prioritise job creation and budget repair to ensure the trend continues.
“What Western Australia needs is sound policy and strong leadership that will boost investment and enable new infrastructure projects to come on line, which will create jobs and inspire confidence throughout the community,” she says.
“It is therefore critical that the partial sale of Western Power goes ahead. The $3 billion Next Generation Account for infrastructure will be instrumental in funding new job creation and the $8 billion paydown of state debt will take us closer to regaining the critical AAA credit rating, which will encourage new business investment, new projects starting and new jobs being created for West Australian workers.
“Payroll tax relief should also be an immediate priority for the incoming government – recent CCI data showed that nearly two thirds of WA businesses said they would create jobs if they did not have to pay payroll tax. At a time when WA’s jobless rate is the highest in the country and our youth unemployment rate is 14.9 per cent – miles ahead of the national average of 13.5 per cent – this barrier to job creation simply must go.
“The biggest concern for consumers in the March quarter was the political environment, up by five per cent from last quarter – the uncertainty around Western Australia’s future is weighing on the community’s mind, so it is up to both leaders to commit to policies that will create the vital jobs needed to assure consumers that there will be stability and opportunity in future.”
►To view the WA Super-CCI Survey of Consumer Confidence, click here.