The Hon. Rob Lucas MLC

The Hon

Rob Lucas MLC

Treasurer

Media Releases

More warning signs for SA economy

Wednesday, 9 August 2006

Retail sales figures issued by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and a June survey of business intentions by the Engineering Employer Association (EEASA) were two further warning signs about the health of the South Australian economy, Shadow Treasurer Rob Lucas said today.

“The monthly survey by EEASA of South Australia’s metal and engineering industries reported that the outlook for further orders for these businesses was the worst in more than seven years,” Mr Lucas said.

“The report states that future trends in order books continue to be of concern with the highest percentage of respondents reporting deteriorating order books since January 1999.

“The survey also reports that employment in these businesses fell in June and that businesses expected future job losses in July.”

Mr Lucas said official retail sales figures issued by the ABS continue to show a sluggish retail climate in South Australia.

“For example, retail sales growth for South Australia in the last year was the worst of any state in the nation. Retail sales grew only 2.4 per cent in the last year, compared to the previous year, whilst the national growth figure was almost double that at 4.3 per cent,” he said.

These latest warning signs come soon after similar indicators revealed similar warning signs:

• Bank SA’s July Monitor reported the lowest business confidence reading for five years and the lowest customer confidence for four and a half years.
• The ABS business investment figures showed South Australia with the worst business investment growth figures of any state.
• ABS economic growth estimates (State Final Demand – March) showed that South Australia has the second lowest economic growth over the last year with growth of 3 per cent compared to a national figure of 4.5 per cent.

“The fact that the Rann Government is now the highest taxing government in South Australia’s history and has broken all of its promises not to increase taxes or charges or introduce any new taxes is obviously one factor in creating the current economic climate,” Mr Lucas said.

“All of these warning signs point to the importance of the pending State Budget and in particular the need for the Rann Government to provide some much needed tax relief to businesses and families after four years of fleecing them.”
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