12/08/2009 - 15:17

WA leads nation in wages growth

12/08/2009 - 15:17

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Western Australia has topped the nation in wage growth with a 4.6 per cent rise in the index, according to latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Western Australia has topped the nation in wages growth with a 4.6 per cent rise in the index, according to latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The ABS showed WA's wage price index, the total hourly rates of pay excluding bonuses, rose 0.5 per cent in the June quarter while for the year the index rose 4.6 per cent from the year earlier.

All states and territories recorded growths with New South Wales rising by 3.7 per cent, Victoria 3.5 per cent, Queensland 4.1 per cent and South Australia 3.7 per cent.

Nationally the total hourly rates of pay, excluding bonuses, rose 0.8 per cent in the June quarter and 3.8 per cent from a year earlier.

CommSec chief economist Craig James said the annual lift in the wage price index was the slowest growth in nearly three years.

However he did add that wages have risen by 25 per cent over the past five years, outpacing a 16 per cent lift in consumer prices.

The median market forecast was for a rise of 0.8 per cent in the June quarter.

In the March quarter, the wage price index rose by an unrevised 0.8 per cent.

Meantime, the index of consumer sentiment rose by 4 points, or 3.7 per cent, to 113.4 in August.

Mr James said the index is now solidly above the long-run average of 101.6 points.

"The confidence index has soared 22 per cent over the past three months - the biggest gain for an equivalent period since the index started in 1973," he said.

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