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Mining and resources continue to support economic growth

4 September 2019

Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan has welcomed confirmation today that mining and resources have been a key contributor to Australia’s economic growth, according to the June Quarter National Accounts data by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The figures show that resources accounted for more than half of total growth in the June quarter in production terms. GDP grew by 0.5 percentage points in the quarter, of which mining contributed 0.3 percentage points.

Mining growth over the year, from June 2018 to June 2019, was a healthy 6.2 per cent (seasonally adjusted), the highest rate of growth of all market sectors and second overall behind health care and social assistance, which grew by 7.9 per cent.

A key driver of GDP growth was strong growth in Australian exports, driven by mining and energy exports.

Exports contributed 0.3 percentage points to GDP growth driven by non-rural goods with continued external demand for mining commodities.

Mining investment rose 2.4 per cent during the quarter, the first increase since June 2018, with mining related machinery and equipment driving the growth.

The ABS found that the mining sector had picked up to meet external demand, noting, “Mining GVA (Gross Value Added) rose 3.4 per cent after adverse weather impacts in the previous quarter. Coal and Iron Ore production returned to expected levels. Oil and Gas Extraction drove the growth with increased production from new LNG facilities. The strength in mining production is reflected in increased exports.”

Minister Canavan said the results confirmed the strong export growth results highlighted in the ABS Balance of Payments data released yesterday.

“Our world beating resources sector contributed to Australia registering its first current account surplus since 1975. According to the ABS, this was driven by continuing high prices combined with growing volumes of resources exports, particularly the key bulk commodities of liquid natural gas, coal and iron ore,” Minister Canavan said.

“Exports of resources and energy were $76 billion in the June quarter 2019, up an impressive 46 per cent from just two years ago, when they were $52 billion in the June quarter 2017.

“These results highlight how important the export of resources and energy is to the Australian economy, supporting jobs, investment and incomes throughout the nation.

“The strong performance of our resources and energy exports is expected to continue, with the Office of the Chief Economist projecting in June that resource and energy export earnings are forecast to hit a record $285 billion in 2019–20.

“Our resources sector is critical in maintaining our national prosperity, employing more than 247,000 Australians and generating $279 billion in exports last financial year. It is one of our great economic strengths, and is the bedrock of communities throughout the country.”

Media contact: Minister Canavan's office 02 6277 7180