It’s been a difficult year for the Turnbull government but at least it can head into 2018 being able to boast strong employment growth and a marked pick-up in Australia’s record economic expansion under its watch.
However, such dynamics are unlikely to stir the Reserve Bank into action just yet because falling unemployment has yet to translate to a lift in wage growth which is stifling household consumption.
The central bank will hold its final board meeting of the year on Tuesday and won’t meet again until February.
Economists are confident borrowers will not suffer a pre-Christmas shock, with the board expected to leave the cash rate at a record-low 1.5 per cent, where it has stood since August 2016.
New figures on Monday showed demand for workers remains at a steady pace with job advertisements growing by 1.5 per cent to 172,000 in November.
“That is the highest level of job advertisements on the ANZ survey in six years,” Treasurer Scott Morrison told parliament on Monday.
“Australians are getting jobs under the Turnbull government. We are making the right decisions by lowering taxes, by opening trade.”
The ANZ job ads series was 12.1 per cent higher than a year earlier.
“Another steady rise along with other leading indicators suggests a positive outlook for the labour market, particularly given the solid prospects for economic growth,” ANZ head of Australian economics David Plank said.
Economists expect Wednesday’s national accounts will show the economy grew by 0.8 per cent in the September quarter.
This would lift the annual rate to 3.1 per cent from 1.8 per cent previously, helped by the 0.4 per cent growth contraction recorded in the September quarter 2016 dropping out of the equation.
Other data on Monday showed while growth in company profits eased slightly in the September quarter, business inventories – stock on shelves and in warehouses – are expected to add to growth.
Company profits eased by 0.2 per cent in the quarter, led by a drop in mining profits, but were still 20 per cent higher over the year.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics business indicators report also showed the wage bill growing by 1.1 per cent to 2.5 per cent.
Economists will finalise their forecasts on Tuesday with the release of quarterly international trade and government spending figures.