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

Western Australian business confidence weakened over the June quarter as cost pressures edged up – led by rising wages, skyrocketing insurance premiums and taxes.

While labour market conditions continue to ease, skills shortages remain a challenge, with 65% reporting this as a barrier to business growth – although this is the lowest proportion since we began asking this question in September 2021. Adding to labour market constraints is the limited supply of housing, which has already impacted 41% of WA businesses in their attempts to attract staff.

Despite the slip in confidence this quarter, it’s important to underline that the State has now recorded 16 consecutive quarters of above average short-term business confidence. This stands in stark contrast to lagging confidence across the rest of the nation and once again reaffirms WA’s position as Australia’s economic powerhouse.

However, it is critical the State does all it can to sustain confidence, especially given the longer-term outlook for businesses is more downbeat. Ahead of the next state election in early 2025, WA businesses have overwhelmingly indicated payroll tax relief as a priority commitment they want to see from the State Government. With the rising cost of doing business continuing to be the most significant barrier to growth, two thirds (67%) of respondents indicated payroll tax reform was one of the top three issues they want addressed by the State Government as it would provide instant relief to small and medium sized businesses.

In this edition of CCIWA’s Business Confidence Survey, we asked businesses what commitments they would like to see from the State Government ahead of the next election, what their main cost pressures are, whether housing shortages are affecting their ability to employ and retain staff, and whether they continue to face skills shortages.

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

Consumer confidence has edged downwards over the longer term. Persistent inflationary pressures have elevated concerns around living costs and interest rates – almost four in five (78%) Western Australians now view living costs as hurting their outlook for the economy, marking a five percentage points increase. At the same time, more than three in five (63%) Western Australians identified interest rates as damaging their confidence, reflecting an eight percentage points surge.

The main factors holding up consumer confidence over the June quarter remain the State Government and employment prospects. This follows the announcement of a sixth consecutive State Budget surplus for 2023-24 and continued strength in the labour market. Although employment prospects have proven to be a consistent pillar to consumers’ outlook, the gradual loosening in labour market conditions has resulted in a smaller proportion of Western Australians reporting their job prospects supported their confidence this quarter.

In this edition of the CCIWA Consumer Confidence Survey, we ask Western Australians how they intend to change their spending over the second half of the year, whether they drive or plan to drive an electric vehicle and the factors influencing their hunt for a new job.

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]

March 2024 Report

The global economy appears to be on the home straight in its fight against inflation.

Interest rates are now sitting firmly in restrictive territory after skyrocketing at the fastest pace in recent memory. In Australia, the Reserve Bank has raised the cash rate to 4.35%, while policy rates in some other advanced economies have been lifted even higher.

There is now mounting evidence that these efforts are working, as inflation rates around the world close in on their respective targets. Year ended inflation in Australia was 4.1% to December 2023, down from the 7.8% recorded 12 months prior. Overseas there has been even greater progress, with the US recording an inflation rate of 3.1% for the year to January, down from 6.3% a year ago, while in the UK inflation now reads 4.0% for the same period, down from 10.1%.

While significant progress has been made, the race isn’t over.

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.
June 2024 Report

Business confidence in regional WA has slipped in both the short and longer term. Despite the slight decline, confidence remains higher than the levels seen at the end of 2023. Confidence levels have diverged between regional and metro businesses, with a smaller proportion of regional business optimistic about future economic conditions.

Over the next three months, three in ten (30%) regional businesses expect economic conditions in WA to soften, while a similar proportion (29%) anticipate conditions to strengthen, down five percentage points since the March quarter. The remaining two in five (41%) expect conditions to remain the same.

Looking to the year ahead, almost two in five (38%) businesses in regional WA expect conditions to soften, a three percentage point rise from March. One in five (22%) regional businesses expect conditions to improve, down two percentage points, while the remainder (40%) expect conditions to remain unchanged.

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

March 2024:
  • Nationally, CPI rose 3.6% over the year to March, down 0.5 percentage points from the 4.1% reading in December.
  • Perth recorded a 0.6% increase to CPI over the quarter, bringing inflation to 3.4% over the year.
  • What influenced CPI this quarter?
    • New house purchases by owner occupiers (+3.6%), rents (+2.9%), and education (+5.0%) were the greatest contributors to inflation over the quarter.
    • In contrast, electricity (-18.1%) and international holidays (-5.9%) 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?
$6,000 (ex GST)
$3,800 (ex GST)
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