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Pessimists rule as wage growth stays slow

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November 15, 2017

Only three per cent of Australians surveyed by Essential Research think MPs deserve a pay rise.

Almost three-quarters of Australians believe politicians are paid too much.

No doubt their views clouded by the ongoing citizenship crisis dogging the federal parliament.

The latest Essential Research survey found just three per cent thought politicians were not paid enough.

Wage growth figures due on Wednesday may leave employees wondering if they should also be paid more.

The wage price index for the September quarter - the Reserve Bank's and Treasury's preferred measure of wages growth - is expected to rise by 0.7 per cent for an annual rate of 2.2 per cent, the fastest pace in almost two years.

The annual growth rate has been sitting at 1.9 per cent over the past year, the lowest level in at least 20 years, and only just ahead of inflation at 1.8 per cent.

However, economists stress the stronger outcome will be the result of the Fair Work Commission's minimum wage award from July 1 - a 3.3 per cent pay rise and its largest since 2010 - rather than the start of a sustained upturn.

Slow wage growth has been a restraint on household spending and confidence.

The monthly Westpac-Melbourne Institute consumer sentiment survey is also due on Wednesday.

It will take into account the Reserve Bank's decision last week to again leave the cash rate at a record low 1.5 per cent and more signs of cooling across Australia's major housing markets, as well as renewed political instability from the citizenship debacle.

The weekly consumer confidence index, released on Tuesday, rose two per cent to a seven-week high.

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