Western Australia is set to benefit from the strongest economic growth in six years with the latest economic data showing more positive signs for the State.
The CCIWA Outlook has backed WA Treasury’s forecast for the State’s economy to grow by three per cent this year, which would be the strongest growth in six years.
CCIWA are forecasting unemployment will average 5.8 per cent this year, which aligns with Treasury’s forecast of 5.75 per cent, and would be the best result in five years.
WA now has the third lowest unemployment rate of all States, a considerable improvement on the 6.4 per cent inherited from the previous Liberal National Government.
The figures also show more than 50,000 jobs have been created since the McGowan Government came to office.
Importantly, employment is growing not just in mining but across a range of sectors including professional services, retail trade, wholesale, transport and warehousing, and financial and real estate services.
The number of employment opportunities continues to rise with internet job vacancies for Western Australian reported by the Department of Employment released this week are at their highest level in five years, also defying a downward trend nationally.
This results are in contrast to the period between 2012 and early 2017 under the former Government where no new jobs were created in the Western Australia and the number of people unemployed blew out by some 36,000.
Encouragingly WA has also recorded its sixth consecutive month of growth in retail spending, which is the longest stretch of consecutive growth in WA since 2014.
Data released by the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia is showing a significant increase in property sales as well as a low rental vacancy rate, which are expected to support property prices. Similarly, the pace of population growth is accelerating, which is expected to support dwelling investment in 2020-21.
The McGowan Government has restored the State’s finances and undertaken reforms to boost the economy and create jobs including the largest ever increase in the payroll tax exemption threshold, which will result in 1,000 small to medium businesses no longer paying payroll tax and a further 11,000 receiving a payroll tax cut.
Significant investments by the McGowan Government as an economic and job stimulus package in the past few months include a $281 million schools and hospitals maintenance package, a 75 per cent rebate on stamp duty for off-the-plan multi-residential dwellings, and the halving of TAFE fees for growth sectors and those with emerging skill shortages.
As stated by Treasurer Ben Wyatt:
“This year we’re expecting to see much better results across the economy than what WA has experienced in the past six or so years.
“Forecasts for Western Australia include the strongest economic growth in six years, the strongest growth in business investment in seven years and the lowest unemployment rate in five years.
“The data is very encouraging and confirms what I’ve been seeing as Treasurer through the broader raft of economic data.
“While some data released by CCIWA suggests that the has economy shrunk by 15 per cent, it’s important to note that more than 95 per cent of that fall occurred under the previous Liberal National Government.
“The fact is the economy is now growing, not shrinking.
“Talking down our local economy, and ignoring some of the obvious green shoots will only weigh down confidence unnecessarily, and postpone Western Australia’s return to robust economic growth.”