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SA outlook belted by latest figures

Friday, 11 January 2013
Author: Kevin Naughton, Indaily

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SOUTH Australia's house building sector took another hit yesterday with official figures showing the 2012 slump had become even worse towards the end of the year.

State Treasurer Jack Snelling's prospects of an improvement in the Budget bottom line now look bleak.

While national figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed building approvals increasing in November by a seasonally adjusted 2.9 per cent, SA approvals fell by an alarming 13.9 per cent.

Almost every economic indicator shows the state economy is in bad shape.

One of the state's leading economists listed the malaise indicators this week in The Australian.

"It is clear that SA's economy is struggling," University of South Australia's Professor Richard Blandy wrote.

He listed the following indicators:

  • SA's rate of growth in gross state product (2.1 per cent a year) is far below Australia's as a whole (3.4 per cent a year).

  • Private business investment is not nearly as strong as in the rest of Australia.

  • Exports have been very weak.

  • Dwelling approvals are down by 11 per cent (compared with a 6.2 per cent recovery in Australia as a whole).

  • Established house prices in Adelaide continue to fall.

  • Retail sales have scarcely grown, whereas elsewhere they are up by 3 per cent.

  • The value of construction work is slightly down, contrary to the robust experience of Australia as a whole (except Victoria).

  • Job advertisements are down heavily (as they are for Australia as a whole).

  • Employment fell over the past 12 months, while nationally it grew by 1 per cent.

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