Confidence reaches three-year high

07 July, 2017

There are more Western Australian consumers feeling confident about the economy than there have been in nearly three years, according to the latest survey from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Western Australia (CCI).

The June quarter WA Super-CCI Survey of Consumer Confidence found more than one in four consumers – around 29 per cent – believe the WA economy will strengthen over the next 12 months, up by 3 per cent from 26 per cent in the previous quarter.

Overall, 60 per cent of consumers are optimistic that the economy will remain the same or improve in the medium-term.

CCI Chief Economist Rick Newnham said the domestic political environment and cost of living were the top two factors influencing consumer sentiment in WA.

“Around 65 per cent of consumers said homegrown political news influenced their thoughts about the economy, which is to be expected in the wake of electing a new State Government,” Mr Newnham said.

“Around 62 per cent of consumers believe that the economy will remain the same or grow stronger over the next three months, which dropped by five per cent from March but is still a healthy majority feeling good about the immediate future.

“Consumers are, however, feeling the pinch of the economic downturn, with living costs again coming in as a significant weight on people’s minds. This is also reflected in the drop in the number of people feeling confident about their personal finances, with around 39 per cent of consumers reporting their financial situation had deteriorated since last quarter.”

Mr Newnham said WA women were feeling increasingly concerned about employment, with a 14 per cent drop in the number of females saying they felt the same or better about their job security from March.

“Only nine per cent of consumers believed their job prospects had improved since last quarter – nearly a third of consumers reported their employment situation had worsened in the last three months,” Mr Newham said.

“This survey found men were seven per cent more likely to feel secure in their jobs than women, with 65 per cent of women feeling secure in their jobs, compared with 72 per cent of men.

“Given the subdued job sentiments, it’s critical that there are no new or increased taxes, fees or charges levied against the business community. With consumers already nervous about their job prospects, any increased costs for business will most certainly result in job losses and less spending in the economy.”

WA Super Chief Executive Officer Fabian Ross said “it is reassuring that consumer confidence has risen since the WA state election, however WA consumers are still feeling financial pressures. This is a real concern, especially with the prospect of higher energy costs, the possibility of increased taxes and charges and continued uncertainty about job security and wage growth”. 

To read the WA Super-CCI Survey of Consumer Confidence, please click here.

Media contact: Kate Hodges – 0448 928 227