Mining investment figures to be announced

Official capital expenditure figures will be announced today, throwing light on the future of Australia’s mining investment boom.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics will disclose figures that will tell whether investment in Australia’s mining industry has touched, or is close to, its peak.

The expenditures figures for the March quarter will outline estimates of total investment for this year and the next financial year, the SMH reported.

Previous figures in the December quarter showed a 1.2 per cent increase in capital expenditure but hinted investment will increase before the end of this financial year.

Commonwealth Bank economist Diana Mousina said capital expenditure figures will show a peak in mining investment in the second half of this year.

But she said investment will flatten rather than plummet after that but this would still impact GDP growth.

“(But) a plateau in mining investment is more positive for the growth outlook (compared to a faster decline) because the detraction from GDP growth will be smaller than otherwise,” she said.

Mining investment has played a vital role in the country’s economy, comprising eight per cent of the economy.

The figures will be released at 11.30am.

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