MCA - Quarterly Economic Brief • SUMMER 2012

Overview
  • The global economy weakened in the September quarter 2012, lowering prospects for recovery in advanced economies and reducing growth projections for 2012, barring the USA. The IMF now forecasts global growth of 3.3% in 2012 with downside risks judged to be more elevated than in July 2012. Short term economic challenges in Europe and the high government debt of most developed economies are looming factors that continue to affect global recovery.
  • The Australian economy recorded GDP growth of 0.5% in the September quarter. Growth in non-mining sectors remained subdued alongside weaker business conditions in the mining industry.
  • According to BREE, total Australian mine production is forecast to increase by 1% in 2011-12 as compared with 2010-11. This is due to a 2% increase in the output of minerals commodities offsetting a 1% decrease in the output of energy commodities.
  • ABS figures for August 2012 reported the first fall in mining employment in 3 years. The data for the three months to August showed jobs in the mining sector fell by a net 4,600 to total 270,608 persons. This is still 44,600 (almost 20%) more than August 2011 figures.
  • BREE estimates that export earnings from mineral resources (excluding oil and gas) increased from $153 billion in 2010-11 to $164 billion in 2011-12, an increase of about 7.1%. Minerals exports in 2011-12 accounted for more than 52% of total Australian goods and services exports, up from around 42% in 2006-07.
  • ABS data show capital expenditure in the mining industry (including oil and gas) was $24.5 billion in the September quarter 2012 compared with expenditure for the rest of the economy of $16.6 billion.

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