Good signs for WA economy

Renewed confidence about the state’s economy is welcome news following a year of negative economic growth that has put pressure on investment, wages and job creation, says CCI Chief Economist Rick Newnham.

Key indicators in CCI’s biannual forecast for the WA economy show that business and consumer confidence are at a four-year high.

Newnham will discuss the findings of CCI’s report Outlook at the CCI-ANZ Economic Breakfast on March 27.

The breakfast, which is now in its 19th year, will also include insights from ANZ Chief Economist, Richard Yetsenga, CCI CEO Chris Rodwell and former Fremantle Dockers captain Matthew Pavlich.

Now in its 19th year, this notable event on the WA business calendar is not to be missed.

Newnham says CCI is confidently optimistic about the future, forecasting that the whole state economy will grow by 0.9 per cent this year, and will continue to improve.

He says 15,000 full-time jobs have been created in the last year and exports are growing at 5 per cent a year.

“We estimate that WA is now 95 per cent of the way down the business investment cliff which means the sharpest falls in investment should be behind us,” he says.

“Our state’s falling business investment has been a weight pulling down WA’s economy and restraining jobs growth. Once business investment stops falling and returns to growth, which we expect will be this year, the whole economy will begin to pick up.”

Flexibility in the labour market has taken the sting out of the economic pain in WA after the mining construction boom, and the creation of part-time jobs has helped to prevent a major fall in household spending.

“CCI expects the jobs market to continue to improve this year, forecasting an unemployment rate of 5.6 per cent next financial year,” Mr Newnham said.

“This should be welcome news for job hunters and those that are already employed – when there are more people in work and fewer people competing for limited job vacancies then we can expect wages growth to return to WA as well.

“Wages growth has been quite low in advanced OECD nations around the world, like Australia, over the last few years but once the unemployment rate falls in WA we expect wages growth to rise.

“CCI forecasts wages to grow by 1.7 per cent this financial year, and increase to 2.4 per cent growth in 2018-19.”

► With optimism returning to WA, now is the time for your business to start planning for the future growth opportunities. Get your tickets to the 2018 CCI-ANZ Economic Breakfast here today!

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