The economy’s flat second quarter performance has continued, according to data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics this morning, and Treasurer Joe Hockey in particular seems to have scored a direct hit on retail sales with his apocalyptic budget rhetoric. But the real economic action was down in Tasmania.
The good news appeared to be in housing construction: seasonally adjusted figures showed a 9.9% rise in total dwelling approvals, including a massive 27.2% rise in approvals for non-house dwellings. But that reflects the problems we discussed last month, when Easter and Anzac Day combined to cut approval numbers — as we predicted then, the May numbers have bounced back. The trend figures, however, are much flatter, with total dwelling approvals down 1.7%.