Remuneration Trends and Insights

Key Economic Indicators

Mercer's Key Economic Indicators reviews key statistical indicators of the Australian economy.

 

 

July 2020

 

Economy snapshot

 

This section reviews key statistical indicators of the Australian economy, including:

  • Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
  • Inflation – Consumer Price Index (CPI)
  • Employment and unemployment
  • Wage Price Index (WPI)

Key economic indicators showed:

  • Low GDP growth
  • Low inflation
  • Growing unemployment rate
  • Low wage price growth



GDP growth


GDP increased by 0.3% (seasonally adjusted) in the March quarter, bringing the annual GDP growth to March 2020 to 1.4%.

The March 2020 quarter results showed positive growth in 9 of the 20 industry divisions (seasonally adjusted). 


The top three positive movers were:

  • Manufacturing (up 2.1%)
  • Retail trade (up 1.7%)
  • Professional, scientific and technical services (up 1.5%)

The lowest three movers were:

  • Accommodation and food services (down 7.5%)
  • Transport, postal and warehousing (down 4.9%)
  • Other services (down 4.2%)


Consumer Price Index


The all-groups CPI reported an increase of 0.3% in the March 2020 quarter, following a change of 0.7% in the December 2019 quarter [ABS catalogue 6401.0]. The annual change from March 2019 to March 2020 was 2.2%. 

 

The most significant price rises in the quarter were:

  • Vegetables (up 9.1%)
  • Pharmaceutical products (up 5.1%)
  • Secondary education (up 3.4%)
  • Tobacco (up 2.0%)

The most significant offsetting price falls in the quarter were:

  • Automotive fuel (down 6.0%)
  • Domestic holiday travel and accommodation (down 3.1%)
  • International holiday travel and accommodation (down 3.0%)

 

CPI - % change by location

 
  March quarter 2020 (%) Year to March 2020 (%)
Sydney 0.3 2.0
Melbourne 0.8 2.7
Brisbane -0.1 1.8
Adelaide 0.3 2.4
Perth 0.4 2.1
Hobart 0.4 3.4
Darwin 0.3 1.5
Canberra 0.4 2.0
Weighted average of eight capital cities 0.3 2.2
 

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics



Employment


In June 2020, the seasonally adjusted national unemployment figure increased to 7.4% (ABS catalogue 6202.0). The unemployment rate for males and females are 7.6% (seasonally adjusted) and 7.3% (seasonally adjusted) respectively.

 

The seasonally adjusted labour force participation rate for June 2020 increased compared to last month at 64%, with male and female participation rates recorded at 69.1% and 59% respectively.

 

There were 12,328,500 people employed nationally in June 2020, with full-time employment decreasing to 8,489,100 and part-time employment increasing to 3,839,400 according to seasonally adjusted figures.


On a seasonally adjusted basis, the unemployment rates for each state in June 2020 were:

  • New South Wales – 6.9%
  • Victoria – 7.5%
  • Queensland – 7.7%
  • South Australia – 8.8%
  • Western Australia – 8.7%
  • Tasmania – 6.9%

 

Australian labour force data  2019-2020

 
  Unemployment rate (%) Participant rate (%)
June 2019 5.3 66.0
July 2019 5.2 66.0
August 2019 5.2 66.2
September 2019 5.2 66.1
October 2019 5.3 66.0
November 2019 5.1 65.9
December 2019 5.1 66.0
January 2020 5.3 66.1
February 2020 5.1 65.9
March 2020 5.2 65.9
April 2020 6.4 63.6
May 2020 7.1 62.7
June 2020 7.4 64.0
 

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics



Wage Price Index

 

The Wage Price Index [ABS catalogue 6345.0] measures changes in wage and salary costs for a selection of jobs, unaffected by changes in the quality and quantity of work performed.

 

Movements in total hourly rates of pay (excluding bonuses) - original figures

 
  March 2020 quarter  (%) change March 2020 year (%) change
All employees in Australia 0.4 2.2
Private sector 0.4 2.1
Public sector 0.5 2.3
New South Wales 0.4 2.1
Victoria 0.4 2.5
Queensland 0.6 2.1
South Australia 0.4 2.3
Western Australia 0.4 1.8
Tasmania 0.3 2.4
Northern Territory 0.3 2.4
Australian Capital Territory 0.5 2.3
Mining 0.4 2.0
Manufacturing 0.5 2.0
Electricity, gas and water and waste services 0.3 2.6
Construction 0.2 1.8
Wholesale trade 0.3 2.0
Retail trade 0.2 1.8
Accommodation and food services 0.2 2.2
Transport, postal and warehousing 0.4 2.1
Information media and telecommunications 0.4 1.6
Financial and insurance services 0.5 2.1
Rental, hiring and real estate services 0.4 2.2
Professional, scientific and technical services 0.4 2.2
Administrative and support service 0.2 2.0
Public administration and safety 0.4 2.2
Education and training 0.9 2.2
Health care and social assistance 0.6 3.0
Arts and recreation services 0.7 2.7
Other services 0.7 2.2
 

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics

Disclaimer: While every care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, no warranty is given in respect thereof.


 

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