01/12/2021 - 10:51

Consumers spend, businesses tighter in WA

01/12/2021 - 10:51

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Rising consumer spending has helped Western Australia’s domestic economy grow 0.6 per cent in the September quarter, while the national economy shrank 1.8 per cent.

Consumers spend, businesses tighter in WA
Clothing sales were up in WA. Photo: David Henry

Rising consumer spending has helped Western Australia’s domestic economy grow 0.6 per cent in the September quarter, while the national economy shrank 1.8 per cent.

Households spent about $28.3 billion in the quarter, up 1.9 per cent on the three months to June, according to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Clothing and footwear spending was 12.8 per cent higher at more than $1 billion in the quarter.

Private investment fell 1.5 per cent in the quarter, largely because of a fall in engineering construction work and lower equipment and machinery purchases.

WA’s state final demand, which measures production in WA minus trade, was 0.6 per cent higher in the quarter, to be up 6.4 per cent over 12 months.

National GDP was weighed down by New South Wales, Victoria and the ACT, in a period when much of the east coast endured tight lockdowns.

Queensland, Tasmania and the Northern Territory all outperformed WA, however.

Deloitte chief economist Chris Richardson said there was already a rapid rebound under way.

“Today’s national accounts tell us what was happening across July, August and September, but we already know enough about what happened in October to be confident of the current rebound,” he said.

“(National) retail sales in October were already back where they were in May 2021, before Delta hit. 

“Even better, that means they are 12 per cent above where they were in February 2020.

“And there’s a similar story in jobs, where payroll data shows jobs also back at their May 2021 peak by end October, leaving them almost 4 per cent above where they were in mid-March 2020.”

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