Australian Bureau Of Statistics
Economy Declines 0.5 % In September Quarter
Victor P Taffa
Volume of activity in the Australian economy decreased 0.5 % in the September quarter 2016, the first quarter of negative growth since the Queensland flood affected March quarter 2011, according to latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
Through the year growth remains positive at 1.8 %, reflecting the three previous quarters of growth.
Economic activity contracted in a number of areas this quarter. Private investment in new buildings detracted 0.3 percentage points from GDP growth, while new engineering and new and used dwellings detracted 0.2 and 0.1 percentage points respectively.
Public capital expenditure detracted 0.5 percentage points from growth as it declined from elevated levels in the June quarter. Net exports detracted an additional 0.2 percentage points from growth. Australia’s terms of trade rose 4.5 % through the September quarter.
Reduced building activity is reflected in the output of the construction industry which fell 3.6 % for the quarter and was the largest contributor to the fall in GDP growth on an industry basis.
A number of other industries also recorded below trend growth, or declined, this quarter, including
- Financial and insurance services,
- Professional scientific and technical services,
- Rental hiring and real estate services and administrative support services.
Largest offset to these falls was agriculture which grew 7.5 %. Mining production contributed no growth, but maintained its historically high levels of production.
Subdued activity in the building industry contributed to a decline in the income of small businesses, with gross mixed income down 5.8 %.
Private non-financial corporation’s gross operating surplus increased 1.2 %, supported by stronger mining commodity prices. Compensation of employees increased 1.3 %, and real gross national income increased 0.9 % for the quarter to be 3.2 % higher through the year.