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 has held firm on the back of a slight easing in the key headwinds continuing to challenge businesses, namely rising operating costs and labour shortages.

While still elevated, the proportion of businesses in WA seeing rising operating costs (71%) and the availability of skilled labour (68%) as barriers have both declined by four percentage points over the March quarter.

Indeed, the proportion of businesses (65%) reporting they have struggled to fill a position is now the lowest since we began asking this question in June 2021. Skilled labour shortages remain most prevalent in the transport (79%), health care and social assistance (76%) and manufacturing (74%) sectors.

Despite these positive developments, significant risks in doing business persist. In this edition of CCIWA’s Business Confidence Survey, we asked businesses whether they are facing the risk of closure or significantly scaling back operations this year. Alarmingly, one in five (18%) WA businesses are facing the prospect of having to do so. We discuss these results further in the report.

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

Despite cost of living pressures continuing to hurt Western Australian household budgets, consumer confidence has held steady to begin 2024. This is on the back of a significant fall in concern around interest rates, with the cash rate remaining unchanged over the quarter and discussion around the timing of the first rate cut heating up.

Concerns around international trade tensions have also eased slightly over the March quarter, further supporting a steady outlook in the face of elevated living costs.

The main support to consumer sentiment remains the strong jobs market, however this has reduced slightly since last quarter as labour market conditions continue to loosen – indeed, Western Australia’s unemployment rate has now drifted upwards to its highest reading in just over two years, now sitting at 4.2% as of January.

In this edition of CCIWA’s Consumer Confidence Survey we asked Western Australians how much of their savings they have used to cover higher costs of living, if their living arrangement preferences have changed post pandemic, whether they are looking for a new job and what influences their consumer brand preferences.

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.
March 2024

Business confidence in regional WA has held firm over the first quarter of 2024, with both short- and longer-term confidence ticking up slightly since December. However, compared with metro businesses, a smaller proportion of regional businesses expect conditions to improve in both the short and long term.

Overall, one in three (34%) regional businesses have a positive outlook for the coming three months, up six percentage points from last quarter. Two in five (42%) expect economic conditions to hold steady, while the remaining one in four (24%) anticipate softer economic conditions, marking an eight percentage point fall from last quarter.

Over the year ahead, one in four (24%) regional businesses expect conditions to pick up – an eight percentage point rise from December – while two in five (41%) anticipate conditions to hold steady. The remaining third (35%) expect conditions to worsen, a four percentage point drop.

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.

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$6,000 (ex GST)
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