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Economic Indicators for the June Quarter released

Publish Date 10/08/2017

The gap between business and consumer confidence in the Hunter economy has widened in the June quarter. There is a sustained recovery in regional business conditions, but consumer spending remains subdued, in the Hunter and nationally.

Hunter Research Foundation Centre

The Hunter Research Foundation (HRF) Centre released its June quarter Hunter Economic Indicators at the Hunter Economic Breakfast on 4 August, with signs that the gap between consumer and business confidence in the Hunter economy is widening.

HRF Centre’s lead economist, Dr Anthea Bill, said that the majority of Hunter businesses surveyed reported satisfactory or better profitability in the June quarter of this year.

In contrast, consumer spending in the Hunter, and nationally, has not recovered from the substantial drop that followed the Global Financial Crisis (GFC).

New housing approvals for the Hunter followed that of NSW-wide results falling by 6% and 4% respectively. Continued declines since the high point of mid-2016 suggest that the construction sector has peaked.

The Hunter Region Economic Indicators paper shows employment in the Hunter rising, and unemployment falling to 5.1% (5.7% the same time last year). Strong full-time employment growth of 6.8%, year to June, is significantly higher than NSW (1.1%), however this has been offset in the region by a decline in part-time employment.

Historically, youth unemployment reaches a higher rate than the overall result, attributed to the differing nature of youth employment with higher figures of part-time or casual employment in this group. This is of concern nationally, with rates remaining at record highs. Access the HRF Centre's June Quarter Hunter Economic Indicators report.