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Financial News: Australia Capital Spending Falls Unexpectedly In Q2

Australia Capital Spending Falls Unexpectedly In Q2

08/28/2019 - 23:46:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Australia's capital expenditure declined unexpectedly in the second quarter as robust growth in machinery and equipment investment was offset by weaker spending on buildings, figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed Thursday.

Total new capital expenditure decreased 0.5 percent sequentially in the second quarter, confounding expectations for an increase of 0.4 percent.

Investment in building and structures declined 3.3 percent, while that in plant and machinery advanced 2.5 percent.

On a yearly basis, overall capex was down 1 percent in the second quarter.

Nonetheless, firms raised their investment plans for 2019-20. According to third estimate, capex was A$113.4 billion, which was 14.9 percent higher than the second estimate.

The latest estimate for 2018-19 came in at A$112.1 billion, which was slightly down by 0.1 percent from previous estimate.

Marcel Thieliant, an economist at Capital Economics said although capital spending is more likely to keep falling in 2019/20, the drag from falling investment should start to moderate over the coming quarters.

The statistical office is scheduled to publish quarterly national accounts for the second quarter on September 4. The economy had expanded only 0.4 percent in the first quarter.

GDP is likely to grow 0.5 percent in the second quarter, Andrew Hanlan, an economist at Westpac said.

Construction work data released Wednesday was weaker than anticipated, which offset earlier upside risks associated with stronger net exports estimate as well as offsetting the upside surprise on equipment spending, Hanlan noted.

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