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Q3 Wages Print Tomorrow Expected To Be Just Under 4%


The Q3 wage price index (WPI) is released on Wednesday and is forecast to rise 1.3% q/q to be up 3.9% y/y after 3.6%. While it is expected to be stronger, as it includes the 1 July 5.75% increase in minimum award wages and the 15% rise for aged care workers plus other agreements that began at the start of the new financial year, an outcome closer to NAB’s forecast of 1.5% q/q and 4.1% y/y, is likely to concern the RBA given extremely poor productivity growth (Q3 update due on December 6). It continues to say wages are consistent with the inflation target but only if productivity improves.

  • The Q3 2023 WPI is projected to be stronger than Q3 2022 when it rose 1.1% q/q. Bloomberg consensus estimates are between 1% and 1.5% q/q and 3.6%-4.1% y/y with most estimates 1.2-1.3% and 3.8-3.9%. Westpac is in line with consensus, CBA is below at 1.2% q/q and ANZ/NAB above at 1.4% and 1.5% respectively.
  • SEEK advertised salaries rose 1.3% q/q in Q3 to be up 4.7% y/y, in line with the 2023 average and close to the Q4 2022 peak of 4.8%, showing that wage growth is yet to ease.
  • Other measures in the WPI release to watch include the average pay increase and the share of increases in each bracket.

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