Consumer confidence has jumped by 12 per cent in the first quarter of 2017 after an off-trend dip in December, according to the latest WA Super-CCI Survey of Consumer Confidence.
Around 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 said whichever party forms State Government next weekend must prioritise job creation and budget repair to ensure the upwards trend of confidence 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,” Ms Willmott said.
“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.
“It is business that creates jobs, not governments – four out of five jobs in WA are created by the private sector, so business was delighted by the Liberal Party’s recent pledge to lift the payroll tax threshold by $50,000 should they return to government, to empower businesses to create jobs for workers. The WA business community now urges Mr McGowan to recognise the role of business in creating jobs and commit WA Labor to payroll tax relief for small and medium businesses, should they win the election.
“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.”
WA Super Chief Executive Officer Fabian Ross said “improved consumer confidence also means consumers should begin to look more closely at their investment in superannuation to ensure they are set up adequately for their future and can weather the storm of share market fluctuations.
“Now is the time for West Australians to look at their super, rather than waiting too close to retirement age.”
Media contact: Kate Hodges – 0448 928 227