Unemployment rate edges up as participation falls

Economic growth data released last week has revealed WA’s domestic economy grew 0.8% over the December quarter, bringing growth over the 2023 calendar year to 5.5%.

This is the fastest pace of growth recorded by any State over the year, more than double that of Queensland, which came in second at 2.3%.

WA’s performance was primarily driven by household consumption, which grew 0.9% over the December quarter. Despite this, the annual pace of consumption continues to slow, falling to its lowest level since March 2021 as rising costs continue to place pressure on household finances.

Business investment remains a solid contributor, rising 0.7% over the quarter and 14.9% over the year following the ramp up of numerous large-scale investment projects, predominantly in the resources sector. Government investment has also emerged as a strong contributor on the back of the State Government’s Asset Investment Program.

On the flipside, dwelling investment was the largest detractor over the quarter, falling 4.6%. Supply side constraints continue to hamper the residential construction sector, particularly the availability of skilled labour, which has limited the amount of work able to be completed. 

US inflation picks up unexpectedly

Inflation in the US came in hotter than expected, rising 0.4% over the month of February. 

This has seen the annual rate edge up to 3.2%, above forecasts of 3.1% and higher than the 3.1% recorded in January. 

This result was driven by an increase in the prices of housing and petrol, which together accounted for more than half of the monthly increase. 

At the same time, energy costs fell less than expected, which is helping inflation remain elevated.  

Meanwhile, core inflation continued its downward trend, easing to 3.8%, however this was still above market forecasts of 3.7%.  

 

CCIWA’s Economic reports are available exclusively to CCIWA Complete, Advantage and Corporate Members. For more see CCIWA’s Economic Insight page.    

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