Workers in some sectors have received one-off pay boosts as a tight labour market keeps pressure on wages.
Firm growth in the wage price index is expected for the September quarter, following the 0.8 per cent quarterly increase in three months to June that was slightly below forecasts.
Compared to a year earlier, the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ wage price index grew 3.6 per cent.
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A stronger print is expected when the bureau releases the September quarter data on Wednesday, ANZ economist Catherine Birch says.
The bank’s economists are expecting 1.4 per cent quarterly growth, which would be the strongest quarterly rise in the series’ 26-year history and take annual growth to almost four per cent.
Birch said there were seasonal or one-off factors at play, including a large award wage increase and structural factors such as the rolling over of enterprise bargaining agreements.
The 5.75 per cent minimum and award wage increase kicked in last quarter, as did further pay boosts for aged care workers.
“In our view, the benefits of improving pay and conditions in undervalued, low paid, female-dominated care sectors – including better attraction and retention of workers – outweigh the costs of any marginal inflationary effect of a one-off bump in the wage price index,” Birch said.
Some workers had their salaries increase as new enterprise bargaining agreements began. Credit: AAP
The wage data will have implications for the Reserve Bank, which is mindful of the influence of higher wages on inflation.
The central bank lifted interest rates by another 25 basis points in November and is open to hiking them again if inflation proves harder to bring down than expected.
ABS labour force data due on Thursday will also be of interest to the central bank as it looks for signs its series of rate rises is cooling the economy.
The jobs market has proved remarkably resilient to higher rates and high inflation, but fewer job vacancies and other indicators suggest it is starting to loosen.
On Monday, further insights into the RBA’s thinking might be gleaned when acting assistant governor Marion Kohler addresses the UBS Australasia Conference in Sydney.
A check-up on the business community in National Australia Bank’s monthly survey, to be released on Tuesday, will also contain illuminating details about the state of the economy.
The household sector will be on show in the Commonwealth Bank’s consumer spending report on Monday, followed by monthly consumer confidence data from Westpac and Melbourne Institute on Tuesday.
Wall Street’s main indices closed with big gains on Friday, boosted by heavyweight tech and growth stocks as Treasury yields calmed and investors looked ahead to reports on inflation and other economic data later this week.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 391.16 points, or 1.15 per cent, to 34,283.1, the S&P 500 gained 67.89 points, or 1.56 per cent, to 4,415.24 and the Nasdaq Composite gained 276.66 points, or 2.05 per cent, to 13,798.11.
Australian share futures rose 24 points, or 0.34 per cent, to 13,980.
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