Australia - Q3 Wage Price Index due today

Minimum wage hike has minimal effect

"Annual wages growth increased marginally to 2.0% in the September quarter 2017", said Bruce Hockman, Chief Economist at the ABS.

This was up from 1.9 per cent in the past few quarters but was still lower than expected.

The wage price index (WPI) rose by just 0.5 percent q/q in Q3 and is up 2.0 percent over the year.

Slow wage growth has been a restraint on household spending and confidence.

Quarterly wages growth has now been stuck in the very narrow, and low, band of 0.4 per cent to 0.6 per cent for the past 13 quarters.

Earlier this year, the Fair Work Commission awarded Australia's 2.3 million lowest paid workers a 3.3 per cent wage rise, which equates to $22.20 a week and was the largest increase in six years.

While some commentary had forecast a substantial increase in wage growth, thanks to the July increase in minimum wages, only a slight uptick was recorded in the September quarter.

N. Korean soldier who defected used a vehicle to escape
Suh said the South had also informed the North on Monday of the soldier and his treatment, via loudspeakers on the border. The incident left three North Korean soldiers and one South Korean soldier dead.

"A further reduction in the unemployment rate is clearly required before we see a more sustained rise in wage growth", she said.

Even with tightening labour market conditions, wage growth is failing to respond.

Across the nation, wages grew by 0.5 per cent quarter on quarter for a year on year increase of 2 per cent.

Data on Tuesday showed that US producer prices increased by in October, exceeding expectations for a 0.1% uptick.

Wage growth was highest in Victoria, Queensland and Tasmania at 2.2 per cent. Unsurprisingly, given its ongoing economic problems, Western Australia recorded the slowest wage growth nationally at 1.3 per cent.

And he doesn't expect there'll be any meaningful improvement in wage growth for some time yet.

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