22 November 2023
Australian profits soared to a record high of $505.4 billion in the year ending March, with new statistics showing a lift in operating profits and wages in the latest quarter too
Australian profits soared to a record high of $505.4 billion in the year ending March, with new statistics showing a lift in operating profits and wages in the latest quarter too.
Figures released by the ABS on Tuesday show corporate gross operating profits climbed 10.2% during the March quarter, with the gains led predominantly by the mining sector – up 25.3%.
Other big gainers included wholesale trade, which saw operating profits lift 13.6%, and retail, up 25.3%. All in all, nine of the 17 industries listed by the ABS recorded increases.
Wages grew 1.8% over the same three-month period.
In a note on Tuesday, CommSec chief economist Craig James said the numbers paint the picture of a “robust” economy in “strong shape”.
“Another quarter of solid growth should be recorded [on Wednesday] in the National Accounts. The economy is tipped to have lifted by 0.7% in the quarter to be up 3% on the year,” he said.
“In nominal terms (volumes plus prices), the economy probably rose 3.2% in the quarter to be up a whopping 9.6%.
“More Aussies have jobs and are spending freely, boosting the coffers of businesses and resulting in record profits being made. No wonder that a record number of businesses started up in the March quarter.”
Those forecasts actually fell just shy of today’s national accounts figures, which showed the economy grew 0.8% for the quarter (up 3.3% for the year) and nominal GDP lifted 3.7% for the quarter (up 10.2% for the year).
Mr James noted that the wage bills paid by Australian companies grew 5.2% in the year ending March, placing growth above the long-term average of 3.3%.
He also said that more people are finding jobs in an already tight labour market, with some reports suggesting workers moving jobs are receiving higher salaries and bonuses.