Yesterday's March quarter GDP result shows how we've engineered a long-term shift in income from workers to corporations over the past five years.
On the surface, the national accounts data was solid, if historical in nature: 0.8% growth for a 3.7% annual result, propelled by both household and government spending, with households spending more and the savings ratio falling to 11.4%, while strong demand for imports offset our continuing strong exports. Labour productivity was also up -- GDP per hour worked rose 1.7% in the quarter, and 2.8% for the year. Real unit labour costs fell 2%, and 2.7% across the year. So employers enjoyed a decent fall in the labour cost of each unit of output.
But buried in Table 24 of the the national accounts is an indicator of how it wasn't just the 12 months to March that was great for employers. It shows a near-record low for wages share of national income, and a record high for profits.