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  • Gavin King

    Tropic Now editor

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    Cairns economy has "long way to go" to climb out of its slump

    There's a long way to go for Cairns to climb out of its decade-long economic slump .

    That's the sobering - some might say obvious - summary of the current state of play in the Cairns economy, at least according to Rick Carr from Herron Todd White.

    Here are the numbers on annual economic growth from Rick's latest Cairns Watch report: 

    Cairns in the boom (2000-01 > 2016-17): 5.5% per annum

    Cairns in the doldrums (2008-09 > 2016-17): 0.5% per annum

    Rick says the Cairns Regional Council area had an economic size (in terms of Gross Regional Product) of $8.415 billion in 2016-17, equating to 2.71% of the total Queensland economy, and 0.50% of the national economy.

    His latest analysis shows the real estate market remains flat, building approvals are down and employment is going backwards, as our story last week on the Conus/CBC Staff Selection Employment Trend revealed.

    "The progressive recovery in the Cairns economy suffered a setback over the last month as its labour market indicators took a distinct turn for the worse," Rick writes in his latest report.

    "Hopefully this is a short term relapse, and the Cairns economy can return to the accelerating improvements we have expecting during 2018."

    "Economic growth remained lacklustre in 2016-17, still at a slow 0.5% and well behind population growth for the year of 1.3%. Indeed over the period from 2007-08 to 2016-17, population has cumulatively increased by 16.4%.

    "However the economy has only grown by 4.9% over the same period, which implies that economic value per capita has reduced by a cumulative 9.8%. That is the extent of the slump we need to recover from in future years."