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Australia- Wage growth will approach 3% by end-2022

A renewed tightening of the labour market next year means that wage growth will accelerate further. That pick-up will be underpinned by a stronger minimum wage hike, the lifting of caps on public sector wage growth and more employees switching jobs. And if it is accompanied by faster underlying inflation, it should be enough to prompt the RBA to lift interest rates by early-2023.
Marcel Thieliant Senior Japan, Australia & New Zealand Economist
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Australia & New Zealand Data Response

Australia Labour Market (Apr. 2022)

While the unemployment rate held steady at a 48-year low in April, the slowdown in employment growth and the sluggishness of wage growth will probably convince the RBA to hike rates by 25bp next month rather than the 40bp some are anticipating.  

19 May 2022

Australia & New Zealand Data Response

Australia Wage Price Index (Q1)

The unchanged pace of quarterly wage growth in Q1 should ensure the RBA won’t accelerate its hiking cycle just yet. But with the labour market still tightening and inflation still rising, we think wage growth will increase further in the quarters ahead. ANZ Drop-in (18th May, 07:00 BST/14:00 SGT): Join economists from our Australia and Markets services shortly after the release of Q1 labour market data for a discussion about the Australian growth, inflation and monetary policy outlook. Register now.

18 May 2022

Australia & New Zealand Chart Book

Consumption to surge even as real incomes fall

We now expect Australia’s inflation to rise by more than 6% this year. Even allowing for an acceleration in earnings growth and a further solid rise in employment as immigration resumes, that will result in the first annual fall in real household disposable income since the early 1990s. By contrast, we expect gains in nominal disposable income to continue to stay ahead of increases in consumer prices in New Zealand. Even so, we expect Australia’s real consumption growth to outpace New Zealand’s this year, for two key reasons. First, consumer spending in Australia has only just started to surpass its pre-virus peak but is already well above that watermark in New Zealand. Accordingly, there’s more scope for catch-up in Australia. Second, consumer confidence in Australia has softened but has collapsed in New Zealand, where it reached an all-time low in March. We’ve pencilled in a 6% rise in Australia’s consumption this year, well above our forecast of a 2.8% rise in New Zealand. ANZ Drop-in (18th May, 07:00 BST/14:00 SGT): Join economists from our Australia and Markets services shortly after the release of Q1 labour market data for a discussion about the Australian growth, inflation and monetary policy outlook. Register now.

17 May 2022

More from Marcel Thieliant

Australia & New Zealand Economic Outlook

Rising inflationary pressures to prompt tightening

Domestic demand is set to rebound from recent lockdowns and labour markets should remain tight. Meanwhile, soaring energy and food prices will keep inflation high for a prolonged period. To be sure, the Reserve Bank of Australia won’t respond to high headline inflation until wage growth picks up in earnest. However, with severe staff shortages and limited immigration, the bargaining position of workers is strong and we expect Australia’s wage growth to reach 3% by the end of next year. We expect the RBNZ to hike rates to 1.5% next year and the RBA to start lifting rates in early-2023.

14 October 2021

Australia & New Zealand Data Response

Australia Labour Market (Sep.)

While employment plunged yet again in September, hours worked started to rebound and the end of lockdowns will result in a rapid recovery in the labour market over coming months.

14 October 2021

Australia & New Zealand Economics Update

Structural slowdown in China a key threat to Australia

Australia’s exports to China are even more vulnerable to a slowdown in the property sector than they were before the trade spat as iron ore has gained in importance. We think that China’s steel demand will fall before long and even if it doesn’t, a shift to electric arc furnaces is a big threat to Australian miners.

13 October 2021
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