June 5, 2024 by Dymphna

The economy stalls but property posts 15 wins: the economy in pictures

See the world through the eyes of an economist: GDP, retail trade and student numbers.

These are the charts that caught my eye this week. First up, GDP data out yesterday showed that the economy is grinding to a standstill. It was up just 0.1% in the quarter and just 1.1% over the year – the slowest rate of annual growth since the 1990s recession.

One of the big reasons for this is the collapse of the consumer. Retail trade is growing at 1.3% – also the worst result in 30 years.

Growth of 1.3% might sound ok, but when you remember that prices are growing at 3.6%, and population is growing at 2.5%, it means that individuals are reining it in hard. Per capita retail sales are tanking:

Which is not surprising, since the cost-of-living crisis has caused consumer confidence, and particularly their estimate of family finances, to collapse.

But while the economy is slowing, the property market continues to power on. Corelogic house prices were up a solid 0.8% in May, the 15th consecutive monthly gain.

Interestingly, the good times are bringing sellers to the market. Listings typically lift when prices lift.

And finally, the Labor government seems to be making good on reining immigration levels back in. Students are bearing the brunt, with the grant rates on student visas tanking.

And that’s how the world looked through the eyes of an economist this week.