Consumer confidence in WA's economy is at a four-year high.
The WA Chamber of Commerce and Industry's consumer confidence survey for the December 2017 quarter reveals the outlook of West Aussies on the State's economic fortunes over the next 12 months as is its strongest since the end of 2013.
In November, The Sunday Times was first to report - with the headline "Kaboom" - on WA's economic fight back, including tens of thousands of new jobs, an improving property market and the spoke in new car sales.
"This emphasises that green shoots in the WA economy are starting to be experienced by most West Australians and economic recovery is on track," CCI chief economist Rick Newnham said.
Nearly three-quarters of WA consumers expect the State's ecomony will strengthen (34 per cent) or remain the same (40 per cent) over the next year, up 5 per cent on the September quarter.
Likewise, short-term confidence of WA's outlook over the next three months is also growing up 5 per cent from the September quarter to 76 per cent of people believing the economy will improve or at least remain static.
The peak business body said the growing economic faith could be attributed to a stable political environment, subdued interest rates and minimal inflationary pressures.But cost-of-living pressures still weighed heavily on people's minds, with 70 per cent of consumers surveyed listing that as their biggest concern.
"The pinch is particularly being felt by lower-income households, with 72 per cent of consumers with household incomes under $60,000 citing rising living costs as a major influence on confidence," Mr Newnham said.
People's confidence about their personal finances and job security lagged for most of 2017, but the December quarter saw a slight turnaround.
"West Australians are feeling more confidence about their finances and job prospects than a year ago, which is a positive start for 2018," Mr Newnham said.
"Consumers are reporting that their job prospects and personal finances are at their highest level in two years; rising 3.6 index points to 102.3 and 2.7 index points to 99.8 respectively, which bodes well for those looking for a job."
But in a worrying sign, more than a quarter of respondents considered their employment prospects to have deteriorated over the past year. This is, however, an improvement from the 31 per cent recorded in the September quarter.
"Four out of five WA jobs are created by the private sector so it is clear that if the Government wants to improve job prospects further and encourage wage growth then business investment must be supported," Mr Newnham said.
"CCI has called on the State Government to rein in its unsustainable spending, which is the highest of any State per person, and to sell government assets to pay down debt instead of introducing taxes which will damage consumer confidence."
CAFE'S BUSINESS ON THE RISE
The WA economy is slowly waking up from its siesta, according to one Perth hospitality operator, who believes an upbeat feeling has returned to local streets.
New Mexican cafe La Vida Urbana opened its doors in Leederville only four months ago, owned and run by the same people behind the popular El Publico Mexican bar and eatery in Highgate.
Gianna Monti, general manager of both establishments, said a strong customer base, particularly repeat business, had vindicated the decision to open La Vida Urbana at a time when others were closing or scaling back.
"We've definitely noticed a turnaround from about a year ago," he said. "There was a drop a year ago but it's certainly coming back.
"We're pretty much full every night or almost full every night, which is great. Day trade is a little bit slower but it's picking up.
"I think it's a very positive time for us. I think in the last three to four years we saw way too many businesses opening in this industry. A natural progression was for a few to fizzle out."
Mr Monti said in no way were we near the heady heyday of the mining boom but he agreed consumer confidence was on the rebound.
"What I'm really surprised to see, and what shows the boost of confidence the most, is that in only four months we've got repeat customers who are here once or twice a week," he said.