Data is here: Australia — Q3 Wage Price Index 0.5% q/q (exp 0.7%)That 0.7% expected was on both the Bloomberg and Reuters poll … so disappointment is widespread. The point about slow wage growth is it is holding back spending and thus economic growth. Combine that with high levels of household debt and now Sydney home prices showing declines (albeit small so far) and the concerns are mounting for the Reserve Bank of Australia (though they haven’t said so yet)
AUD/USD a little sticky around the figure, lows are just under there so far … so not a collapse (choose your own adjective!)
more, via the Australian Bureau of Statistics (bolding mine):QUARTERLY CHANGE (JUN QTR 2017 TO SEP QTR 2017)
- The trend and seasonally adjusted indexes for Australia both rose 0.5% in the September quarter 2017. This continued the moderate rate of wage growth recorded by the series over the last two years.
- The Private and Public sector rose 0.5%, seasonally adjusted.
- The rises in indexes at industry level (in original terms) ranged from 0.2% for Mining to 1.8% for Accommodation and food services.
ANNUAL CHANGE (SEP QTR 2016 TO SEP QTR 2017)
- The trend and seasonally adjusted indexes for Australia both rose 2.0% through the year to the September quarter 2017. This was marginally higher through the year growth than has been recorded for both series during 2017.
- Rises in the original indexes through the year to the September quarter 2017 at the industry level ranged from 1.2% for Mining to 2.7% for Health care and social assistance, and Arts and recreation services.
In the previews I posted earlier there was an expectation the minimum wage rise would contribute to a better gain than we have seen in the data. It would have been uglier otherwise, indeed.
Oh, and a ps. A bright spot has been employment growth … yes slow wag growth but at least job growth has been strong. OK … now stay tuned ’cause same-bat-time, same-bat-channel tomorrow we’ll be getting the latest Australian jobs data.
I’ll have more to come on this separately.