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Economy set to race

TRADING conditions in WA are improving with the economy being steady but set to accelerate.

According to a Challenge Bank market insights report, personal spending continued to moderate in the second half of 1999 and business investment fell to its lowest level since 1994.

However, the report says the WA economy is likely to bounce back strongly.

“Difficult trading conditions in international markets are beginning to subside and a turnaround in exports provides early signs of a return to strong growth and ongoing solid incomes and employment growth should also support a recovery in consumer demand,” it says.

Unfortunately, the outlook for investment remains flat.

Personal spending continues to slow. The Challenge Bank-MI Index of Consumer Sentiment for WA fell 1.6 per cent in the three months to December to be 0.3 per cent below the same level last year.

Retail trade volumes grew by 0.4 per cent in the September quarter to be up just 1.4 per cent on levels of a year ago.

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