The West

Investment figures  show mining boom not over
Investment figures show mining boom not over

Australia's mining boom is not over yet, with newly released capital expenditure figures showing there is a lot more investment to come.

Official figures released on today reported that June quarter new private capital expenditure rose by 3.4 per cent, seasonally adjusted, matching market expectations.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics also released the third estimate of planned expenditure for 2012/13, which is 20.8 per cent higher than the third estimate for 2011/12.

JP Morgan Australia chief economist Stephen Walters said the solid gain in capital expenditure for the June quarter is a good sign that next week's June quarter gross domestic product figures will be strong.

"More importantly in the forward looking estimate there is still a heck of a lot of spending that is yet to be done," he said.

"Firms are saying they are going to do about $180 billion worth of spending in the current fiscal year, so that's a lot of spending.

"The mining boom is not over, the price side may be over given that iron ore and coal prices are going down but the volume side in the capex story and the export story is still to come."

Last week, BHP Billiton shelved $US50 billion ($A47.89 billion) of major projects, including an expansion of the massive Olympic Dam uranium mine, blaming the lower commodity prices and increased operating costs.

Mr Walters said Thursday's capital expenditure data precedes the BHP Billiton decision and won't allay fears about an end to the mining boom.

"I think the lower commodity prices go the more projects you're going to get deferred," he said.

"You're still going to get a lot of negative news, but if you look at these numbers there is still a lot of spending to be done."

AMP chief economist Dr Shane Oliver said the data suggested the mining investment boom still had a while to run and was likely to peak in 2014.

"The pipeline of work yet to be done is still running at a very high level,â€

The West Australian

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