Residential building approvals fell 18% (seasonally adjusted) in Queensland in July, compared with a 2.3% increase nationally, suggesting Queensland’s residential construction industry is set for a period of softness. Hence we’ll be relying on strong export growth from the mining sector – seen in today’s Balance of Payments figures and recent evidence from our Ports – to keep the overall economy in reasonable health.
Our recent retail trade performance is seen by some as a positive sign for the economy. Queensland’s retail trade was up 1.5% in July, or around twice the national rate of 0.7%. But consumers will only spend if they’re confident their jobs are secure, so any weakness in the construction sector may restrain retail trade in the quarters to come. So the heavy uncertainty around our future economic performance remains.