Devil in detail of ABS statistics for 2009-10

Some good points but many transport and logistics trends were sliding down

By Rob McKay | May 30, 2011

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has released estimates of the economic and financial performance of Australian industry for 2009-10.

The figures unveiled late last week include those for transport, postal and warehousing.

They may be mostly of historical value in the fast-moving transport and logistics world and the ambit might be very broad but they do show how well the wider industry was travelling before the effects of Global Financial Crisis really bit.

Amongst the industries with the largest absolute increases in gross fixed capital formation (GFCF), transport, postal and warehousing recorded $2.1 billion between 2008-09 and 2009-10, second only to electricity, gas, water and waste services at $2.3 billion.

GFCF measures the value of acquisitions of new or existing fixed assets, including vehicles, less the disposals of fixed assets

The percentage of business in transport, postal and warehousing which returned a profit was 81.4 percent, the highest proportion of any selected industry in 2009-10.

But that good news masked a trend that saw the proportion of those firms making profits fall 83.7 percent, 83.2 percent and 81.4 percent in the three years to 2009-10.

The those making a loss in that time were 14.2 percent, 14.4 percent and 17.2 percent during that time.

Despite that, employment fell 9,000 to 550,000 between 2008-09 and 2009-10, though it was still higher than the 544,000 reported in 2006-07.

Also falling was profit margins over the three years to 2009-10, at 11 percent, 9.8 percent and 8.7 percent respectively.

Meanwhile total labour costs continued its steady rise, to $31 billion from $27.2 billion in 2006-07.

The full report can be read here:$File/81550_2009-10.pdf

The ABS has promised a more focused report on transport, postal and warehousing later this year.

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