MCA - QUARTERLY ECONOMIC BRIEF • WINTER 2012

Overview
  • The global economy weakened in the June quarter 2012, lowering prospects for recovery of advanced economies and reducing growth projections in emerging economies. The IMF now forecasts global growth of 3.5% in 2012 with financial market and sovereign stress in Europe remaining focal points of downside risk.
  • The Australian economy showed mixed signals in the June quarter based on partial indicators. The manufacturing index for Australia fell by 6.9 points to 40.3, the weakest reading since June 2009 and the fifth drop in six months. By contrast, retail sales volumes rose strongly in the June quarter (+1.4% q/q), following a similarly strong rise in the March quarter.
  • As production rebounded in the March quarter 2012, Gross Value Added by the mining industry grew by 2.3% in seasonally adjusted terms compared with the December quarter 2011. June quarter data is expected to be released on 5 September 2012.
  • ABS figures for May 2012 continued to show strong employment growth in the mining industry with 275, 200 persons employed directly in the sector, up 10.2% from February 2012 and 26.8% above May 2011 figures. In the three years from May 2009 to May 2012, the mining industry created 120, 400 new jobs, about 16.5% of the total 733, 000 jobs created in the economy.
  • BREE estimates that export earnings from mineral resources (excluding oil and gas) will have increased from $154 billion in 2010-11 to $165 billion in 2011-12, an increase of about 7.1%. Minerals exports in 2010-11 accounted for around 60% of total Australian goods and services exports, up from around 41% in 2006-07.
  • ABS data show capital expenditure in the mining industry (including oil and gas) was $19.2 billion in the March quarter 2012 compared with expenditure for the rest of the economy of $15.9 billion. June quarter data is expected to be released on 30 August 2012.
  • The minerals sector spends more on training per employee than most industry sectors and significantly more than the national average, with the overwhelming majority of trainng being privately funded.

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