Economic Insight

CCIWA’s specialist economics team provides your business with in-depth market intelligence that is relevant to the West Australian economy.

For any enquiries, please contact [email protected]

The CCIWA Business Confidence Survey is the longest running and most comprehensive business survey in WA. Produced quarterly it covers businesses of all sizes and sectors across the state and includes:

  • Expert analysis about the short and medium-term business confidence
  • Comprehensive data regarding issues such as labour costs, profitability, and capital expenditure

Inflationary headwinds and ongoing labour shortages are continuing to buffet Western Australian businesses.

Businesses continue to see rising operating costs as the main obstacle to growing their business over the next 12 months, with three in four (75%) businesses reporting this. The biggest cost pressure is wages, which is compounded by WA having the highest payroll tax burden in the country.

Additionally, businesses are grappling with persistent labour shortages. An alarming proportion of businesses in the professional services (87%), resources (85%) and transport (82%) sectors have reported they are struggling to fill a position.

Encouragingly, the lead up to Christmas has seen weak demand ease as a barrier to growth, with one in five (18%) businesses reporting this, down 9 percentage points since September. Although this concern has reduced on aggregate, it remains acute for businesses in the food services, retail trade and agriculture sectors.

In this edition of CCIWA’s Business Confidence Survey — which attracted 816 responses — we asked businesses what they would be forced to do next Christmas should the proposed changes to casual employment in the Closing Loopholes Bill come into effect, where the company’s repayments sit relative to its turnover and whether they are struggling to hire for a particular skillset.

Previous Business Confidence Reports

The first of its kind in the State, the CCIWA Consumer Confidence survey provides invaluable insights into the attitudes and sentiments of Western Australian consumers.

Analysis includes:

  • Short and medium-term expectations of economic conditions provided by metropolitan and regional consumers
  • The major concerns for consumers in the current economic climate – including spending habits, employment prospects and financial health

Western Australians intend to rein in spending this festive season, wary that cost of living and interest rate pressures will continue into 2024. While short-term consumer confidence remains steady since the last read taken in September, deeper analysis of the spending intentions and financial stress points of Western Australian households reflects that a growing number of households are feeling the pinch. The longer-term outlook in particular has softened, likely fuelled by concerns that inflation will remain stubbornly high and elevated uncertainty triggered by recent global events.

Despite this, Western Australians are more optimistic than the rest of the nation – the latest Westpac-Melbourne Institute Consumer Sentiment Index recorded a 2.6% decline in November, in contrast to the stable reading of CCIWA’s Consumer Confidence Index.

Previous Consumer Confidence Reports

Outlook is a biannual CCIWA publication that provides expert forward-looking economic analysis. It contains:

  • Analysis of the state, national and international economies
  • Economic forecasts on key indicators such as inflation, the labour force and employment

Produced by our well-informed and market-conscious economics team, Outlook makes sure you stay ahead of the current and expected changes in economic conditions.

For further information, please contact [email protected]

September 2023 Report

The global economy appears on track for a soft landing following the rapid increase in interest rates, although China is now emerging as a key watch point for WA’s economy, with many now questioning whether the Chinese economic miracle is over. Global interest rates have shot to their highest level in more than a decade as central banks continue to combat skyrocketing prices. In Australia, the Reserve Bank has raised the cash rate by 4 percentage points in 18 months, while policy rates overseas have been hiked even further. There is evidence that these efforts are now working, as the economy starts to cool. National retail trade volumes have fallen year-on-year for the first time since September 2021, household consumption has remained relatively flat over the first half of 2023 and the number of job vacancies have fallen for four consecutive quarters.

In this edition of Outlook, we unpack the key forces underpinning WA’s recent economic performance and outline how the economy could evolve in the months and years ahead

Previous Economic Outlook Reports

Western Australia’s regions are the engine room of the WA economy, supporting a range of key export industries, including resources, agriculture and tourism.

Regional Pulse breaks down key results from the CCIWA Business Confidence Survey, providing insights into the conditions facing businesses in WA’s regional centres. The report contains:

  • Comprehensive data on key economic indicators across the regions, including profitability, capital expenditure, production, labour costs and employment.
  • The major barriers facing regional businesses over the next 12 months.
December 2023

Regional businesses are slightly more pessimistic about both the short- and longer- term conditions compared to last quarter. Relative to businesses in the metro area, regional businesses are more pessimistic in both the short- and longer- term.

Fewer regional businesses are optimistic about the next 3 months than they were last quarter. Three in 10 (28%) businesses in regional WA expect conditions to improve, down 4 percentage points since September. However, a greater proportion have a steady outlook, with two in five (40%) businesses expecting conditions to remain the same – up 7 percentage points.

The longer-term outlook has seen a slight swing towards weaker conditions. Less than one in five (17%) regional businesses expect stronger conditions over the next year, down 2 percentage points since September. Conversely, almost two in five (39%) expect conditions to soften, up 3 percentage points.

Produced quarterly, our inflation update provides charts and tables on consumer price trends in Perth and all the capital cities.

December 2023:
  • Nationally, CPI rose 0.6% in the December quarter, with inflation now reading 4.1% over the 12 months.
  • Perth recorded a 1.5% increase to CPI over the quarter, bringing inflation to 3.6% over the year, the second lowest reading of all states.
  • What influenced CPI this quarter?
    • Housing (+6.0%), primarily driven by electricity (+56.7%), and domestic holiday travel and accommodation (+6.0%) saw the greatest price rises over the quarter.
    • In contrast, furnishings, household equipment and services (-0.7%) and transport (-0.3%) saw the greatest price falls.
Strategy 2024

Western Australia and the World

The global business environment has experienced significant headwinds over the past 12 months, with much of this set to continue into 2024. Costs are high, workers remain hard to source and cross-border turmoil has flared further.

In this comprehensive WA-specific business strategy report, CCIWA’s expert economists outline – in simple language – how key global economic trends could shape local business performance in 2024 and beyond and identify practical and relevant strategic opportunities to ensure your business stays ahead of the curve.

This report contains:

  • Global and State economic outlooks, including feature sections on China’s economy and exchange rates.
  • Key nation summary, containing in-depth analysis of economic conditions within WA’s key trading partners.
  • Detailed analysis of the most important issues facing WA businesses, including inflationary pressures and labour shortages.
  • WA Business Strategy Effectiveness Heatmaps, showing the most effective strategies other WA businesses have implemented that you can leverage to combat these issues.
  • Special sections on leveraging new and emerging technologies, as well as capitalising on WA’s strategic and commercial advantages in a changing global economy.

Armed with the latest market intelligence, you will be better positioned to make informed strategic planning decisions and set your business up for success.

Strategy 2024 is FREE for CCIWA Corporate and Advantage Members. Please to access your complimentary copy.

To upgrade your membership to Advantage or Corporate, please click here.

How much does it cost?
Non-Members
$6,000 (ex GST)
Members
$3,800 (ex GST)
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