The Federal and State Budgets were handed down last week, with both recording budget surpluses.
Nationally, the Federal Government is forecasting a surplus of $4.2 billion for 2022-23 – its first surplus since 2007-08 – while the WA Government is also forecasting a surplus of $4.2b (see chart 1).
Economic forecasts reveal the Federal Government expects economic growth in Australia to slow to 1.5% in 2023-24, while in WA the State Government has forecast the State’s economic growth to slow to 2.25% in 2023-24.
New retail trade data shows spending across Australia contracted over the March quarter in volume terms, falling 0.6%. This is on the back of rising interest rates finally starting to flow through to consumer spending, and follows a fall of 0.3% in the December 2022 quarter.
This has seen some commentators label the current decline in retail trade as a ‘consumer recession’. However, spending in WA has remained more resilient than Australia as a whole, with retail trade volumes remaining unchanged over the March 2023 quarter (see chart 2).
Wage Price Index (WPI) data was also released on Wednesday, with wages rising 3.7% for the year to March 2023 across the country (see chart 3). This is the eighth consecutive rise to the WPI, highlighting the increasing wage pressures experienced over the past two years.
The wages increase is even greater in WA, rising 4.1% for the year to March 2023. This is the highest of all Australian states and territories, and the highest rate of wage growth recorded in WA since December 2012.
CCIWA’s Economic reports, including Outlook, are available exclusively to CCIWA Advantage and Corporate Members. For more see CCIWA’s Economic Insight page.