Byrne claims ABS figures show confidence returns to QLD
THE Member for Rockhampton claims there are indications this week that confidence has returned to Queensland and has pointed to the Palaszczuk Government as a key driver.
Rockhampton MP Bill Byrne says Rockhampton's retailers have suffered but they can take encouragement that Queensland is leading the nation on retail trade growth, according to latest ABS figures released on Wednesday.
"The ABS retail trade data shows Queensland recorded the strongest real retail growth of any mainland State in the March quarter at 1.9 per cent," Mr Byrne said.
"It is a sign that Queenslanders are growing more confident about the state's economy under Labor," he said.
"During the LNP's three years in power, Queensland's retail trade growth slumped to be weaker than the national average.
"Now we have seen the strongest result since the March quarter 2012 - the last three months of the previous Labor government."
Mr Byrne said the Palaszczuk Government's focus on job creation had played a part in boosting business confidence.
"The RBA's decision to cut the cash rate to 2% will also play a part in encouraging people to spend and for businesses to hire staff," he said.
The ABS reported increased spending on food (up 1.8%), cafes, restaurants and takeaways (up 3.1%).
Spending on household goods was also up (2.9%), along with 'other retailing' (2.4%), and clothing and footwear (4.1%).
"Building approvals also grew in March and that is also very encouraging," said Mr Byrne.
"The housing and construction industry is crucial to economic growth and job creation."
"Queensland's coal exports also rose 4.1 per cent over the year, to $6.2 billion in March quarter 2015."
According to the ABS data, Queensland meat exports rose 26.8 per cent over the year to March quarter 2015, mostly driven by an increase in beef export prices.
"Beef exports, which make up the majority of Queensland's overseas meat shipments, amounted to $1.1 billion in March quarter 2015," he said.
"Despite the damage Cyclone Marcia caused to two large beef processing plants in Central Queensland, export volumes of beef in the March quarter 2015 were higher than the corresponding quarter last year.
"Meanwhile, Queensland minerals exports rose 3.2 per cent over the year, hitting $1.9 billion in the March quarter 2015.
The ABS data also shows that Queensland's crops exports grew by 23.6%, with grain sorghum and chickpeas experiencing strong growth, up $11 million and $47 million respectively over the year to March quarter 2015.