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Australian Economy – Outlook 2023

Chief Economist

The outlook for the Australian economy in 2023 is one with much uncertainty. While monetary policy easing appears to be working on flattening the growth in prices of goods, rising services prices continue to be a problem both in Australia and globally.

In good news for borrowers, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has indicated that it is now close to pausing further cash rate rises, although any pause will very dependent on data coming in.

One dataset that will now be very closely watched is labour force. Given the RBA has a dual mandate to keep inflation within the 2-3% target band as well as keeping Australia in full employment, this data will absolutely feed into future decision making at the monthly board meetings.

To give some indication of what might happen to unemployment going forward, we need to look at both the supply and demand for labour. On the labour supply side, migration has bounced back quickly in FYE 2022 (with September data due out next week), and while not quite up to pre-COVID levels, Australia is now topping up labour supply through migration more quickly than a year ago.


On the demand side, the demand for jobs appears to be waning. The SEEK employment dashboard for January 2023 shows that the number of jobs being advertised is down year-on-year in nearly all the major categories. In Information and Communication Technology, Job Advertisements are down 24.1%. Given a very large proportion of jobs in Australia are advertised on SEEK, this gives us a good indication that the demand for labour is slowing significantly.

SEEK Employment Dashboard, January 2023

Y-o-Y % change
Trades & Services-5.2
Healthcare & Medical-0.6
Manufacturing, Transport & Logistics-7.5
Hosp & Tourism-13.8
Info & Communication Technology-24.1
Admin & Office Support-2.4
Education & Training0.5
Community Services & Development1
Retail & Consumer-3.3

Consumer confidence remains at very low levels, with consumer reporting significant pessimism since August last year. As many borrowers come off fixed rate loans in the next few months, and have to contend with much higher servicing costs, this could get even lower.

For now, business conditions and confidence are holding up well, although as we approach the end of financial year and many firms look to their annual revenue forecasts, this is likely to change on the downside.

consumer confidence economy Jobs Labour news
Anneke Thompson
Chief Economist, CreditorWatch
Anneke joined CreditorWatch as Chief Economist in April 2022. She is a specialist researcher and commentator on issues impacting the credit industry, SMEs and the broader economy, conducting regular presentations to corporate groups. She is also a media spokesperson for CreditorWatch, regularly appearing on national television and in syndicated media. Anneke is also the Managing Director of Clio Research and formerly the National Director and National Head of Research at Colliers International Australia. She has also worked at NAB and Jones Lang LaSalle.
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