Economic boost for Premier
Colin Barnett has been delivered a desperately needed piece of good economic news ahead of this week’s WA election, with the domestic side of the State economy growing for the first time in 18 months.
On the back of a lift in spending by the private and public sectors on capital works, State final demand, which excludes imports and exports, lifted by 0.4 per cent or almost $200 million in the final three months of 2016.
It followed a string of negative quarters dating back to early 2015 as economic activity contracted in line with the slowdown in mining construction.
Since peaking, the domestic side of the WA economy has shrunk almost 11 per cent or $6 billion led by a near-40 per cent drop in private capital spending.
Treasurer Scott Morrison said the improvement in WA was a positive sign and suggested the worst may be over for the State.
“What it shows is that WA in particular has borne the most brutal shock of the transition of our economy and to be where they are today, under the strong leadership that’s been shown by the Premier and his team in WA, I think they will see the light at the end of the tunnel,” he said.
The national GDP figures showed a 1.1 per cent lift after a 0.5 per cent contraction the previous quarter.
The economy grew thanks to household spending, better exports led by the mining sector and public capital spending.
While households spent up, their wages fell 0.5 per cent, the first drop in almost five years. Savings dropped to their lowest level since before the global financial crisis started in 2008.