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    Treasurer, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships and Minister for Sport
    The Honourable Curtis Pitt

    Hard data shows comeback for confidence in Queensland

    Treasurer, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships and Minister for Sport
    The Honourable Curtis Pitt

    Wednesday, February 10, 2016

    Hard data shows comeback for confidence in Queensland

    Treasurer Curtis Pitt says hard data in key economic indicators shows a rise in confidence in the Queensland economy since the change of government almost a year ago.

    “There is a myriad of surveys undertaken each month on economic conditions and outlooks, and all use different questions and methods,” Mr Pitt said.

    “I am not denigrating any of them. But nothing beats hard data from institutions like the Australian Bureau of Statistics and their recent reports show a solid economic performance in Queensland and rising confidence which is the message I get when I talk to business and investors.

    “We have recently seen Australian Bureau of Statistics figures showing a rise of almost 27 per cent in residential building approvals over the past year and growth in merchandise exports,” Mr Pitt said.

    “In addition, employment is a key indicator and ABS figures show unemployment is down in Queensland from 6.5 per cent in January 2015 in trend terms to a two-year low of 5.9 per cent in December 2015 and job numbers have risen by 60,400 since the election.”

    “Queensland is leading the nation in the strength of its residential building approvals — up almost 27 per cent to 48,927 in 2015 compared with 38,555 in 2014.

    “The ABS figures showed residential building approvals for 2015 worth $14 billion compared with $10.8 billion in 2014.

    “Each of the almost 49,000 dwellings approved last year provides jobs for Queensland’s construction industry,” he said.

    Mr Pitt said ABS figures showed Queensland’s merchandise exports rose by $5.6 billion in 2015 to reach $49.7 billion — the best result since 2011 and 12.6 per cent higher than in 2014.  Total merchandise exports included:

    • 18.6 per cent rise in meat sales and exports worth of more than $5.5 billion despite facing drought conditions
    • exports of crops up $961 million to $1.7 billion, also despite drought conditions
    • coal exports up in 2015 by $263 million to reach $23.7 billion thanks to a lower Australian dollar and a small increase in volume and despite a price drop.

    Mr Pitt said the 2015 2015 State Budget outlined a $10.1 billion capital works program to deliver job-creating projects across the state with about $4.8 billion earmarked for rural and regional centres.

    “Queensland Treasury estimates that the 2015-16 capital works program will directly support around 27,500 full-time equivalent jobs — a welcome boost to economic activity in Queensland,” he said.

    “The Palaszczuk Government has worked hard to rebuild confidence in our state and its economic and financial performance following three years in which the LNP spent almost all and every day denigrating and ‘talking down’ our state’s financial performance,” Mr Pitt said.

    “Their aim was to build a scare campaign so that Queenslanders would accept the LNP’s plans for asset sales.

    “But all it did was drive down confidence which was made worse by the impact of the LNP’s cuts to jobs and services on local and regional communities and their economies.”

    Mr Pitt said surveys of economic conditions could vary in their findings, but a range of analysts had identified an upward trend in confidence in the state:

    • Sensis Business Index for small-to-medium businesses in Queensland was +35 points in December quarter — up 10 points from the September quarter and almost three times as high as December 2014 (+13).
    • Deloitte Business Outlook December 2015 — Queensland forecast to record the strongest economic growth of all Australian jurisdictions in 2015-16.
    • National Australia Bank’s business survey showed Queensland leading the nation in business confidence for seven months in a row. In its monthly survey for January NAB rated business confidence in Queensland at +8 on its index — four points above NSW and seven points above Victoria. On quarterly figures, the NAB’s December quarter 2015 results previously showed confidence at + 6 on theNAB index compared with + 3 in the December quarter 2014 under the LNP.


    Contact: 0447 316 432