The ABS quarterly capital expenditure figures, released last week, show overall spending for the September quarter weaker than the second, but manufacturing sector capex rising 6.9 per cent.
The Australian Industry Group’s Economics Weekly publication notes that, adjusted for inflation, total capex was down 9.2 per cent for all industries in the quarter, and 20 per cent for the year. This was the steepest decline since records began in 1987 and highlights the downturn in mining sector investment.
The manufacturing sector’s positive result was the biggest increase since 2011, and is up 1.6 per cent for the year. It is in line with the recent positivity in the Ai Group’s monthly PMI survey, which has recorded four straight months of growth results.
Capex in manufacturing is predicted to decrease 9.8 per cent for the 2015-16 financial year, though this is an improvement on previous forecasts.
(Click here for the Ai Group's analysis.)