Victoria’s economy continued to perform strongly in 2017-18, leading to significant jobs growth and a general government sector operating surplus of $2.3 billion – $270 million higher than the revised forecast.
The 2017-18 Financial Report tabled in Parliament today shows Victoria’s ongoing economic strength has boosted our labour market, with 86,500 new jobs created in 2017-18 and full-time employment rising by 3 per cent.
Victoria’s unemployment rate now sits at 4.8 per cent, the lowest rate in seven years.
Victoria’s state final demand grew by 5 per cent in 2017-18 – well above the national average increase of 3.5 per cent and the fastest growth rate in Victoria in eight years.
This record growth was driven by strong gains in household consumption expenditure, private business investment, and population growth.
Infrastructure investment was $12 billion for 2017-18, $346 million higher than estimated in the Victorian Budget 2018-19, as the Andrews Labor Government invests in road and rail, hospitals and schools across Victoria.
Net debt for the general government sector – 4.7 per cent of estimated gross state product at 30 June 2018 – was in line with the expected level of 4.6 per cent, and well below the level inherited from the former Liberal Government.
Victoria continues to forecast strong surpluses every year over the budget and forward estimates period.
Victoria also maintains its triple-A credit rating, as detailed in the latest Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s reports.
Moody’s noted “Victoria’s triple A rating is well placed when compared to most Australian states and territories with healthy economic growth, positive fiscal results, with strong revenue growth and a manageable debt burden.”
Standard & Poor’s recognised “the state’s very strong financial management and economy, exceptional liquidity and the extremely predictable and supportive institutional framework.”
Quotes attributable to Treasurer Tim Pallas
“This result reflects the hard work of the Victorian people, and backs our record investments in infrastructure, housing, health and education.”
“Victoria has contributed over a third of the nation’s total employment growth since 2014, with more than 370,000 jobs created since the Andrews Labor Government was elected.”