ABS business indicators paint complex picture for industry


Transport and logistics sector on something of a rebound though sales are an issue

 

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures remain troubling for the economy broadly but signs of some sort of upswing are showing up, and while transport and logistics is in the mix its results are mixed.

The ABS’s national Business Indicators report for the March quarter shows the country’s performance is less than entirely robust.

The trend estimate for inventories was relatively unchanged, with the seasonally adjusted estimate up 0.4 per cent for the quarter.

That for manufacturing sales of goods and services fell 1.7 per and the seasonally adjusted estimate fell 4.1 per cent.

The trend estimate for wholesale trade sales of goods and services rose 0.7 per cent this quarter and the seasonally adjusted estimate rose 1.9 per cent.

The seasonally adjusted estimate for company gross operating profits rose 0.2 per cent.

By comparison and measured as "transport, postal and warehousing", the T&L sector showed some health.

"In current prices, the trend estimate for company gross operating profits rose 3.7 per cent this quarter," the ABS says.

"The seasonally adjusted estimate rose 1.2 per cent.

"In current price terms, the trend estimate for wages and salaries rose 0.9 per cent this quarter.

"The seasonally adjusted estimate rose 1 per cent."

However, T&L’s total gross operating profits are rebounding following a slump from just more than $5 billion in total that started in March 2013 and are yet to recover to that level.

More soberingly, in volume terms, the trend estimate for sales of goods and services fell 0.8 per cent this quarter and the seasonally adjusted estimate fell 1.2 per cent.

This is a trend that also began slipping away 24 months ago but is yet to pull up.

This is a measure that has looked positive in such allied sectors as construction but is missing in others such as manufacturing, wholesale trade and mining.

The full report can be found here.

 

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