Company profits rose 1.1% in March quarter

Company profits rose by just 1.1 per cent in the March quarter as restrictions imposed to slow the spread of the coronavirus began hampering trade.

Economists had expected an increase of 0.5 per cent.

Financial and insurance services recorded a surge of 48.9 per cent in company gross operating profits, according to seasonally adjusted data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Mining profits gained 2.9 per cent, while manufacturing profits were 6.1 per cent higher.

The federal government imposed gradual travel restrictions on visitors entering Australia from February 1 following the coronavirus outbreak in mainland China.

The government later barred foreigners entering from other parts of the world, and imposed social distancing measures on regular activities in Australia in late March.  

Australian companies’ inventories fell 1.2 per cent in the three months to March 31

There was no change to wages and salaries.

Sales in the manufacturing sector were 2.2 per cent higher, while they rose 1.6 per cent in wholesale trade.  

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