June quarter capex spend disappoints

Business investment failed to rebound as hoped in the June quarter, instead dropping by a worse-than-expected 0.5 per cent to $29.2 billion.

Seasonally adjusted data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics defied consensus expectations of a 0.4 per cent quarterly rise, signalling that private capital expenditure will be yet another a drag on next week’s GDP data.

The data sent the Australian dollar falling to 67.28 US cents by 1145 AEST, down from 67.36 US cents immediately before the 1130 AEST data release.

Economists had already moderated their GDP forecasts after construction data on Wednesday showed building work plummeted by $1.3 billion in the June quarter.

Thursday’s data showed businesses’ private investment in buildings and structures fell by 3.3 per cent to $15.1 billion in the three months to June 30, down 6.6 per cent on a year ago.

Conversely, spending on equipment, plant and machinery ticked 2.5 per cent higher to $14.2 billion for the quarter, 5.7 cent higher over the space of 12 months.

Total private capital expenditure is 1.0 per cent lower than it was a year ago.


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