Australia's central bank confident in upbeat labour data

SYDNEY, March 26 (Reuters) - Australia's central bank is confident that strength seen in domestic jobs data can be trusted since it comes from a range of independent sources, dismissing concerns the health of the labour market might be overstated.

Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) Assistant Governor Luci Ellis also pointed a finger at the tax man as one reason for sub par growth in incomes and consumption in recent years, even as employment stayed firm.

"For all of the past six years, growth in tax paid has exceeded income growth by an above-average margin, at a time when income growth itself has been slow," said Ellis, who heads the bank's economics department.

She cited a range of reasons for this shift, including compliance efforts and technological progress in tax collection.

Ellis said the bank was still trying to reconcile the softness of household consumption with the strength of the labour market.

"The labour market has unambiguously improved," she said. "One can be reasonably confident in the steer the labour market data are giving us, because it is coming from multiple, independently collected data sets."

"Many of our own liaison contacts also tell us that they are hiring." (Reporting by Wayne Cole; Editing by Sandra Maler)

2019-03-25 23:34:22

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