Australian Industry Group chief executive, Heather Ridout, has commented on the most recent GDP result for manufacturing, saying it is “disappointing but when you scratch the surface it looks very ordinary indeed”.
According to Ridout, the growth of the agriculture industry by 21% — contributing 0.4% to growth – helped the industry “into the black” while the combined contribution of all other sectors to GDP was negative 0.2%.
GDP per capita actually fell in the September quarter and was soft across the year;
Perhaps most disturbingly labour productivity went backwards (by -0.1%) in the September quarter ) while over the year to September, labour productivity in the market sector grew by an insipid 0.6%; and private investment contributed a mere 0.1% to growth.
"The hope has to be that the strong investment in the pipeline means that conditions will improve in the current quarter and in the month’s ahead. However, Ai Group’s latest monthly indices of manufacturing, services and construction are not reflecting any substantial improvement across the economy,” said Ridout.
"On any measure economic activity is patchy at best with key sectors struggling in the face of the high dollar and rising interest rates.
"As well, today’s figures are a reminder that we should not let our success in managing the impacts of the GFC mask the importance of looking ahead and rejuvenating our poor productivity performance. As a nation, we neglect this at our peril.”