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ABS: Biz Investment Scales Back Despite Aid

Local business investment decreased 1.6% during the March quarter, with RBA governor Philip Lowe saying it’s “entirely possible” the economic impact of COVID19 will not be as severe as initially thought given earlier-than-expected re-openings.

Lowe’s remarks were made at a parliamentary hearing in Canberra today, warning the pandemic may still “cast a shadow” over consumer confidence.

A special business survey from the Bureau of Statistics reveals seven in every ten firms have changed operations as a result of the pandemic.

For the week starting May 13, around 70% of companies informed the ABS they had fared a coronavirus related drop in revenue.

Around three quarters of surveyed firms also claim to have accessed some form of government aid prompt by the pandemic. More than half have utilised wage subsidies as part of JobKeeper.

[ABS]

[ABS]

[ABS]

For the March quarter, net capital expenditure slipped 1.6%, following a 2.6% slip in the December quarter [seasonally adjusted].

The ABS’ quarterly survey spending plans by business for financial 2020 notched $115.4 billion – 5.6% lower than the previous year.

Spending on building and structures during the March quarter notched $14.7 billion [seasonally adjusted] – down 7.9% on the year.

Business spending on equipment, plant and machinery slipped 2.3% in the quarter, with spending on the year down 4%.

[ABS]

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