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Wednesday, 27 February 1985
Page: 270

Dr THEOPHANOUS —My question is directed to the Minister Assisting the Minister for Industry, Technology and Commerce. I ask: Can the Minister provide the House with recent statistics which show an increase in manufacturing investment in Australia? What is the cause of this increase?

Mr BARRY JONES —The figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics dealing with new fixed capital expenditure and manufacturing investment reveal that there has been a solid recovery in business investment in the December quarter. New fixed capital investment in real terms rose by nearly 4 per cent to 9.4 per cent above the level recorded in the December quarter 1983. Investment in new buildings and structures in the year to December 1984 increased by 16.8 per cent in real terms. The figures for manufacturing investment are also heartening. Investment in manufacturing rose in December 1984 to be 12.4 per cent above the figure for the December quarter 1983. The improvement in the December quarter figures is reflected in expectations for 1984-85. An upward revision in expected total expenditure from 10.8 per cent growth in 1984-85 in the September quarter survey to a 16.6 per cent rise in the preliminary December quarter survey for 1984 highlights the persistence of business optimism for growth in 1984-85. The December quarter preliminary survey also features 1985-86 expectations data and these point to a substantial rise in total new fixed capital expenditure. The figures are good news on the investment front. The Government will maintain the direction of economic and industry policy which has helped to produce them.

Mr Brumby —What about Victoria?

Mr BARRY JONES —Of course, that is particularly true of Victoria.