Australian Wages Meet Slowest Gain in Five Years
Australian quarterly wages grew at the slowest pace in over five years, as full-time jobs were slashed in favor of part-time ones. The 0.8% gain in labor costs came during a period which saw the unemployment rate rise 0.3 percentage points to 5.8% and 11,100 net full-time positions closed. A lack of wage growth contributed to the stunningly depressive performance of the June retail sales figure. Indeed, the month saw such spending plummet 1.4% after economists had forecast it to actually rise by 0.5%. A market reaction would be inappropriate given the Reserve Bank of Australia's recently revised growth forecast. At it's regularly scheduled meeting last week, the bank predicted that the domestic economy would expand 0.5% in 2009, up from their initial estimate of a 1.0% economic contraction.
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