WA Premier Mark McGowan told a CEDA audience that the Western Australia economy has turned the corner from what has been a difficult period.
“The Australian Bureau handed down the September quarter results, and we have state final demand growing for the second quarter by 0.9 per cent, and that’s the first time since 2013,” he said.
“That’s terrific news for all of those businesses, in particular small and medium sized enterprises out there that are not part of the export economy but rely on the confidence of West Australians.
“With responsible financial management and a state government with the right priorities, I’m pleased to say that business confidence is returning in WA.
He mentioned that the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) Business Confidence Index has short term confidence at a three year high and that 70 per cent of Western Australians are confident about the economic future that it will strengthen or at least remain the same over the medium term.
Discussing employment, McGowan said that the number of people employed in WA is two per cent higher than October last year, while WA has the highest participation rate in employment of any state in Australia.
“Unemployment was at 6.5 per cent last year, now it is 5.9 per cent and trending downwards,” he said.
“Western Australia has a lot to be proud of but we need to continue to improve.
“Whilst our economic fundamentals are sound, we still need to work towards diversifying our economy.
“We have to bring the budget back. We’ve got a plan to get back to surplus by 2020 and to start bringing the states debt levels down,” he said.