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Second survey this week suggests softness in investment.



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Contact: Craig Emerson 0418 781 386

FOR MEDIA

CRAIG EMERSON Member for Rankin

SHADOW MINISTER FOR INNOVATION, INDUSTRY, TRADE AND TOURISM

20 June 2002

Second survey this week suggests softness in investment

The second survey in as many days has shown potential weaknesses in the Howard Government’s economic strategy.

Today’s Australian Bureau of Statistics Australian Business Expectations survey for the coming September quarter has shown that businesses expect growth in capital expenditure to moderate, confirming a trend reported in yesterday’s Dun and Bradstreet Business Expectations Survey.

More companies also expect their capital expenditure to fall in the September quarter than increase, signalling a deterioration in expectations since the June quarter.

The small business sector also expects to do it tough in the coming months, anticipating falls in income, prices, profits, capital expenditure and employment.

Disturbingly, businesses continue to expect their employment levels to fall in the coming quarter. Expectations for full-time equivalent employment have now fallen for the 10th successive quarter.

Small businesses expect their employment levels to fall by 1.1 per cent in the twelve months to June 2003.

This is the second survey this week to cast doubt on the strength of investment in Australia and is a further wake-up call for the Howard Government to focus on investing in Australia’s long term future.