Qld economy lags but jobs bounce back


Queensland's economic "bounce back" was the second-worst in the nation last quarter, beating only locked-down Victoria, a new report shows.

The latest ANZ Stateometer report found that every state except Victoria "recovered ground" in the September quarter and there were positive early signs of growth continuing to expand through to the end of the year.

ANZ senior economist Cherelle Murphy said border closures had dragged down growth in states such as Queensland that enforced strict travel controls between July to September.

"There still was somewhat of a recovery and I think that will probably get better in the December quarter," she said.

"A lot of the indicators we've been getting have been quite strong ... showing that the economy is getting back closer to normal," she said. The report found economic growth in Queensland was "below-trend pace" for the September quarter, but had improved following the disastrous June quarter at the height of the pandemic.

Cherelle Murphy, ANZ Research.
Cherelle Murphy, ANZ Research.

"(The Queensland economy) did not bounce back as well as the rest of Australia, with the obvious exception of Victoria," the report says.

Consumer spending was the only sector in Queensland that grew above the trend rate, but the housing, business, labour market and trade sectors were all down.

"Queensland's economy has recently felt the impact of reduced resources industry investment and reduced dwelling investment," it says.

"Prices for Queensland's major commodity exports, LNG and coal, also fell in the quarter. China's import restrictions and strong domestic ­supplies are weighing on the coking coal price."

Prices for Queensland’s major commodity exports, LNG and coal, fell in the last quarter.
Prices for Queensland’s major commodity exports, LNG and coal, fell in the last quarter.

But the green shoots of ­recovery were also starting to show with positive signs in employment and consumer confidence.

Queensland's job market recorded the nation's second-largest plunge (8.2 per cent) between March and May, but since then, its "bounce was also strong", according to the report.

From May to October, employment across the state was up 8.7 per cent, the best recovery in the nation for the period. Consumer confidence around the nation had also surpassed levels from early March.

Confidence levels in Brisbane and the rest of Queensland were both higher than the national average.

The report also included gross state product figures for the 2019-20 financial year, with Queensland again recording the second worst result following a 1.1 per cent drop in output.

Originally published as Qld economy lags but jobs bounce back