Australian job figures avoided the worst of China's downturn

JOBS growth, low interest rates and a lower Australian dollar were the key factors holding back the effects of China's downturn and falling commodity prices hitting the economy.

The latest Deloitte Access Economics business outlook, to be released on Monday, shows the overall outlook unchanged from the previous quarter.

While China's slowdown and weaker coal, gas and iron ore prices were the big negatives facing Australia, Deloitte chief economist Chris Richardson said interest and exchange rates were the good news.

Mr Richardson wrote the nation's growth rate was expected to stay "below trend" until 2017, consistent with the Reserve Bank's outlook.

"And while 'below trend' sounds disappointing, you should be cheering - history and economics both say that Australia's largest ever boom could have ended in our biggest bust," he wrote.

"Be happy it didn't."

Mr Richardson wrote families might be disappointed in the weak wage growth, but it and higher productivity were helping drive overall job growth.

He wrote that meant current economic growth was "driving more job gains than it usually would have".

And despite the "musical chairs" in Canberra, he wrote the challenges for new Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull remained the same.

Not only was Federal Government spending at "levels usually only seen during recessions", the government faced billions in unlegislated budget measures, as well as "genuine growth-enhancing tax reform", Mr Richardson wrote.

At the state level, despite New South Wales "looking good", the rocketing housing prices were likely to eventually hit population growth - alluding to a potential bursting of the housing price bubble.

Mr Richardson wrote Queensland was still struggling with the falls in global gas prices, drought conditions across the state hitting the farming sector and poor population growth.

"But housing construction is up, falls in the dollar will be good for tourism and Sydney's housing prices will send Blues supporters northwards," he wrote.

APN NEWSDESK



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