The Victorian economy is strong and growing, as confirmed in the 2017-18 Victorian Budget Update released today.
The Update shows that Victoria will deliver an operating surplus of $1.7 billion in 2017/18, with forecasts across the forward estimates revised up to an average of $2.2 billion.
Supported by a strong labour market and growing population, the outlook for real gross state product (GSP) has been upgraded for 2017/18, from 2.75 to 3.0 per cent – with the 3.3 per cent delivered in 2016/17 the strongest of all the states.
Employment in Victoria continues to grow strongly, with the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures showing nearly 320,000 jobs have been created in the three years since the Andrews Labor Government took office.
Meanwhile, unemployment is expected to decline over the forward estimates while wages are forecast to rise.
The Labor Government’s unprecedented investment in Victorian infrastructure has also increased, with government infrastructure investment (GII) now set to average $10.2 billion per annum over the budget and forward estimates.
This reflects transformative projects which are now underway including the Metro Tunnel, the Level Crossing Removal Program, the West Gate Tunnel Project and the Western Roads Upgrade.
Key measures to tackle housing affordability have taken hold, with the update confirming that around 9,000 first home owners are already benefiting from cuts to stamp duty.
This report follows last week’s growth figures showing Victoria’s economy is thriving, with state final demand growth the strongest in the nation at 4.7 per cent over the year to September 2017.
Quotes attributable to Treasurer Tim Pallas
“Victoria’s economy is strong, with a healthy budget surplus, a triple-A credit rating, and the strongest state final demand in the nation.”
“Victoria is the state of momentum, with over 319,000 jobs created since the Andrews Labor Government was elected.”
“Our unprecedented infrastructure program means we’re getting on with the projects that our state desperately needs, but were ignored under the previous Liberal Government.”