23/10/2007 - 22:00

Strong economy boosts consumer confidence

23/10/2007 - 22:00

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The state’s buoyant economic conditions have resulted in increases in consumer spending, with low unemployment and rising personal incomes leading to strong consumer confidence.

The state’s buoyant economic conditions have resulted in increases in consumer spending, with low unemployment and rising personal incomes leading to strong consumer confidence.

While strong wages growth primarily affected those industries reaping the rewards of the resources and housing booms, wages growth is also being felt across a number of industries, as employers offer higher wages to stay competitive.

Western Australia’s higher-than-national average earnings, healthy employment market and strong economic conditions have kept consumer confidence at historically high levels, according to Treasury, despite three interest rate increases in the past year.

Total retail turnover rose almost 10 per cent in 2006-07 to $2.08 billion, the biggest level of growth in recent history.

The growth was led by rises in food retailing (up 14.9 per cent), clothing and soft goods retailing (up 12.1 per cent) and hospitality and service industries (up 10.6 per cent).

By comparison, national retail turnover growth rose slightly to 3.9 per cent.

But trend growth has been declining since December 2006, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, with weaker growth in July and August 2007.

Food retailing had moderate growth in July and August following nine months of strong growth. Department stores has had four months of strong growth, while household good retailing and hospitality and services have been in decline over that period.

New motor vehicle sales in WA grew 9.6 per cent in the year to September 2007 to 90,571, similar to the growth experienced in 2006.

Compact and medium-sized SUV sales experienced the biggest increase, up 11 per cent and 20 per cent respectively, with sales of large SUVs falling 10 per cent.

Sales of small to medium cars led the growth in passenger car sales, up 8.9 per cent and 8.4 per cent respectively.

The latest quarterly data indicates motor vehicle sales have also softened in recent months. But despite this, growth remains relatively strong in annual terms and compared with the rest of the country.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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