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1367.5 - Western Australian Statistical Indicators, Mar 2009  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 23/04/2009   
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SECTION 1 STATISTICAL SUMMARY




Population

  • By September 2008, the estimated resident population of Western Australia had risen to 2.19 million, representing a quarterly increase of 0.8%.
  • Western Australia's quarterly population growth was well above the national growth (0.5%) and higher than in all other states and territories. Queensland and Northern Territory had the next highest growth rate (both 0.6%).
  • In the September quarter 2008, the principal component of population growth was overseas migration, which brought an additional 11,400 people (net) to the state.
  • A further 4,200 people were added to the population through natural increase (births minus deaths) while interstate migration gave a net gain of 1,600 persons.
  • In the ten years to 2007, the median age at first marriage in Western Australia steadily increased, to 30.0 years for males and 27.8 years for females.
  • Since 2002, the total fertility rate (TFR) has trended upwards from 1.7 to 2.0 babies per woman. This increase is the result of higher fertility among women aged 30 years and over.


Employment and Earnings
  • In the three months to February 2009, unemployment in Western Australia rose from 2.9% to 3.6%.
  • Over the same period there was a small decrease in the number of employed persons (0.5%).
  • Latest trend figures show the average full-time ordinary time earnings of adult employees rose by 1.7% to $1,448 per week for males and by 1.9% to $1,050 per week for females during the November quarter 2008.


State Accounts
  • In seasonally adjusted terms state final demand grew 0.6% in the December quarter 2008 to over $35 billion. In trend terms, state final demand rose by 1.0% over the same period.


Prices
  • Perth's Consumer Price Index (CPI) fell 0.3% in the December quarter 2008, the first decrease since March 1999. This decrease was mainly due to the lower price of automotive fuel (down 17%) and motor vehicles (down 2.4%).
  • In the December quarter 2008, the price index for established houses in Perth declined for the fourth successive quarter. However, the fall of 0.9% was considerably lower than previous falls of 2.3% in the June quarter and 2.5% in the September quarter.
  • In contrast, the price index for project homes continued to increase. The index has climbed by 3.8% since December 2007.


Consumption
  • In seasonally adjusted terms, retail turnover in Western Australia rose by 1.4% in January 2009 following a larger rise (2.8%) in December 2008.
  • In trend terms, there was a steady decrease in the sales of new motor vehicles in the 13 months to February 2009. In that period, the number of vehicles sold fell by almost one-fifth to 8,370 vehicles.


International merchandise trade
  • In the December quarter 2008, Western Australia's international trade surplus was more than $14 billion. This was 45% higher than the surplus for the same quarter of the previous year (almost $10 billion).
  • China and Japan continued to be the major export destinations despite a significant fall in exports to China from the previous quarter.


Investment and finance
  • Private new capital expenditure in Western Australia rose by almost 7% in trend chain volume terms in the December quarter 2008, to just over $7 billion. The mining industry continued to be a strong driver of this investment growth.
  • After 15 months of continuing decline, the number of housing finance commitments (trend) commenced a slow rise in September 2008 (6,285), reaching 6,432 in January 2009. However this figure was still almost 20% down compared with January 2008 (8,002).


Construction
  • In the three months to January 2009, 3,622 houses were approved for construction in Western Australia (trend). This was 11% lower than in the previous quarter and 17% lower than in the same quarter of the previous year.
  • Over the same period there was a proportionally larger fall in other dwelling approvals. The number of approvals for semi-detached, townhouses and flats, and units and apartments fell to 548, a decrease of 40% compared with the previous quarter and 65% compared with the same quarter of the previous year.
  • Latest figures for dwelling construction relate to the September quarter 2008 in which construction commenced on 5,060 dwellings. This represents a decrease of approximately 15% compared with the previous quarter and 11% compared with the same quarter of the previous year.


Mining and energy
  • Following eleven quarters of strong growth, expenditure on mineral exploration in Western Australia marginally decreased, from $357 million to $354 million, in the three months to December 2008.
  • The only significant growth in mineral exploration in the December quarter was related to iron ore where expenditure rose by 11%. Expenditure on silver, lead and zinc, nickel and cobalt; and gold exploration were all substantially down.
  • Petroleum exploration expenditure rose by 48% in the December quarter.
  • Production of iron ore and bauxite both fell in the December quarter after some volatility in previous quarters, while the production of diamonds had its third successive quarterly increase (12%).


Tourism
  • The December quarter 2008 saw a fall of nearly 5% in the number of overseas visitors compared with the same quarter of the previous year, with markedly fewer visitors from Japan and Thailand.
  • The top five countries of origin were the United Kingdom, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan and New Zealand, with Malaysia overtaking Japan in the December quarter 2008 as the third most common source country.
  • There is some seasonal variation in visitor arrivals. Visitors from the United Kingdom were the predominant group in the December and March quarters whereas visitors from Singapore were the largest group in the June quarter.
  • The top destination for Western Australian residents holidaying abroad in the December quarter was Indonesia. Other popular destinations were Thailand, Singapore, New Zealand and Malaysia.

1 SUMMARY OF STATISTICAL INDICATORS, Australian comparison

Western Australia
Australia
Indicator
Reference period
Current figure
Change from previous period (%)
Change from same period previous year (%)
Current figure
Change from previous period (%)
Change from same period previous year (%)

Estimated resident population ('000)
Sep qtr 2008
2 188.5
0.8
2.9
21 542.5
0.5
1.8
Employment and earnings(a)
No. of persons employed full-time ('000)
February 2009
839.1
-0.5
2.0
7 682.4
-0.1
0.1
No. of persons employed ('000)
February 2009
1 169.6
-0.2
2.7
10 811.7
-
0.8
Unemployment rate (%)
February 2009
3.6
0.3pts
0.5pts
4.9
0.1pts
0.8pts
Participation rate (%)
February 2009
68.9
-0.1pts
0.4pts
65.4
0.0pts
-0.1pts
Average weekly earnings(b) ($)
November 2008
1 315.7
1.6
7.7
1 164.9
1.5
5.2
State final demand(a)(c) ($m)
Dec qtr 2008
35 211
1.0
5.9
284 426
0.3
2.9
Prices(d)(e)
Consumer Price Index, All groups
Dec qtr 2008
166.2
-0.3
3.7
166.0
-0.3
3.7
Wage Price Index: Hourly rates of pay(f)
Dec qtr 2008
126.8
1.8
5.7
121.5
1.2
4.3
Established house price index(g)
Dec qtr 2008
184.4
-0.9
-6.7
125.8
-0.8
-3.3
Project home price index(g)
Dec qtr 2008
154.0
1.0
3.8
123.1
0.2
4.5
Price index of materials used in house building, All groups(h)
Dec qtr 2008
162.3
1.1
8.9
161.3
1.3
6.9
Consumption
Retail turnover: Seasonally adjusted ($m)
January 2009
2 125.6
1.4
6.5
19 208.5
0.2
5.9
Sales of new motor vehicles(a) (no.)
February 2009
8 370
-1.7
-19.4
74 254
-1.1
-18.0
International merchandise trade(e)
Exports ($m)
Dec qtr 2008
23 743
3.7
47.2
67 473
10.5
55.6
Imports ($m)
Dec qtr 2008
9 359
8.7
50.2
62 835
6.6
24.4
Investment and finance
Private new capital expenditure(a)(c) ($m)
Dec qtr 2008
7 186
6.9
31.3
24 753
4.2
18.0
Commercial finance commitments(e) ($m)
January 2009
2 620
-11.4
3.4
25 829
-23.0
-36.2
Personal finance commitments(e) ($m)
January 2009
857
-6.4
-14.9
5 785
-11.6
-12.5
Housing finance commitments(a)(i) (no.)
January 2009
6 432
0.8
-19.6
53 713
2.4
-15.7
Construction
Houses approved(a) (no.)
Jan qtr 2009
3 622
-10.6
-17.1
21 506
-9.0
-23.5
New residential building activity commenced(e) (no.)
Sep qtr 2008
5 060
-15.1
-11.4
36 807
-6.6
-9.2
Mining and energy(e)
Mineral exploration expenditure ($m)
Dec qtr 2008
364.0
-5.2
16.0
648.5
-5.7
3.6
Petroleum exploration expenditure ($m)
Dec qtr 2008
798.9
48.1
55.8
1 013.4
29.7
31.6
Tourism(e)
Short-term overseas visitor arrivals, By air on holiday (no.)
Dec qtr 2008
76 427
71.4
-4.7
768 420
27.0
-5.5
Short-term holiday departures of residents, By air on holiday (no.)
Dec qtr 2008
116 083
-16.1
6.9
780 543
-8.0
5.6

- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
(a) Trend
(b) Full-time adult ordinary time earnings.
(c) Chain volume measures.
(d) Index
(e) Original
(f) Total hourly rates excluding bonuses.
(g) Index for Perth and Weighted Average of 8 Capital Cities.
(h) Index for Perth and Weighted Average of 6 Capital Cities.
(i) Owner occupation housing.



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