ABS points to decrease in equipment investment

New figures show businesses are investng less in equipment

By Rob McKay | November 26, 2010

The transport and logistics industry is under no illusions as to the malaise it is suffering and now it can point to more official figures to back up its case.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures released yesterday also put the ‘two-speed economy’ into sharp relief.

The estimated total capital expenditure for the country this financial year is $124bn, up 19.5 percent.

However, estimated investment in equipment, plant and machinery (EPM) is 0.3 percent lower, at $49.2bn for 2010-11 compared with the 12 months prior.

The main drivers of the decrease in expected investment were the transport, postal and warehousing sector at 18.1 percent lower and what the ABS describes as "other selected services" at 20.1 lower.

Holding the fort for the country was mining.

EPM expenditure for the last quarter was also poor, though transport and logistics did not rate a mention.

"The trend estimate for equipment, plant and machinery fell 4.8% in the September quarter 2010," ABS analysts say.

"Mining rose 3.5%, manufacturing rose 0.2% while other selected industries fell 7.3%.

"The seasonally adjusted series fell 1.1%. Mining rose 8.8%, manufacturing fell 3.1% and other selected industries fell 3.0%."

Overall new investment for the September quarter rose 6.2 percent, double what the market had forecast.

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