Thursday, 24 Sep 2020

Australian second quarter wage growth lowest ever as pandemic rages

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australian wages grew at the slowest pace on record last quarter in another hit to household spending power when the coronavirus pandemic has already ruptured consumer confidence and business conditions.

The official wage price index rose 0.2% in the three months to end June, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reported on Wednesday. Analysts had forecast a subdued pace of 0.3%.

Annual wage growth slowed to 1.8%, well below the levels that used to be considered standard for the country.

Both annual and quarterly wage growth were the weakest since records began in September 1997.

Separate data out earlier showed a measure of Australian consumer sentiment fell sharply in August as a strict coronavirus lockdown in Victoria state darkened the mood in a major setback to the country’s fledgling economic recovery.

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