Investors splurge on mining boom

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New Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show almost $120 million a day is being invested in WA as companies race to profit from the mining boom.

The figures show resource-driven investment as one of the lead contributors to economic growth in Australia over the last two quarters.

Mining firms spent 14.4 per cent more last quarter, led by a 22 per cent jump in plant and machinery purchases, and projections show further increases in the future.

The rises come on the back of strong 12 per cent gains in mining spending in the previous quarter.

But these figures were dominated by QLD and WA, and excluding those heavyweights, total investment in Australia fell 5.6 per cent.

Spending on buildings, machinery, and engineering equipment topped the investment lists of companies.

While mining investment surged in the June quarter manufacturing recorded a more sedate rise of 3.7 per cent.

Investment across other industries went backward, as the higher Australian dollar strangled tourism, manufacturing, and other exporters.

Retailers also struggled, with annual sales growth in the sector in the 12 months to July hitting a lower than inflationary level of 1.4 per cent.

The figures were even more dismal once food was stripped out, indicating a fall of 0.4 per cent, which is the weakest reading in almost three years.

Experts said the figures clearly indicated that Australia would be riding on the back of the mining sector over the years to come.

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