The shift towards the e-commerce, internet and online-related services industry continues in Australia’s industry sectors, according to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
The strongest growth in income during the 2016-17 financial year came from the internet publishing and broadcasting sub-industry, the ABS data shows.
“Aussies are increasingly going online to publish and broadcast content,” explains CommSec Senior Economist Ryan Felsman.
“Non-store retailing and commission-based buying also featured prominently, and internet service providers, web search portals and data processing services rounded-out the Top 10 for income growth over the year.”
“The mining sector is back in a big way,” notes Felsman. “Commodity prices are near 3-year highs. Bulk commodities iron ore and coal are Australia’s biggest income generators. Supply-side reforms and disruptions have boosted prices. Coal and metal ore mining were among the Top 5 sub-industries for income growth.”
He says the other stand-out for income growth was the rural sector with forestry, fishing and agriculture represented in the Top 20 sub-industries.
Building construction and transport-related industries are benefiting from Australia’s infrastructure boom, while social assistance services and private hospitals are in-demand due to the National Disability Insurance Scheme and an ageing population - both were significant income generators, according to the data.
“Overall, the industry data confirms the health of Australian businesses with 78% of operators making a profit in 2016-17,” Felsman says.
However, this figure was down from 79.1% in 2015-16 and 78.9% of businesses in 2014-15, CommSec said in a note.
“The composition of Australian industry is changing,” Felsman says. “The resources sector is still a sizeable contributor to our national income. Indeed, the rebound in the mining and energy sectors is good news. Demand for skilled labour is increasing after a period in the doldrums. Mining sales and services income rose by 13.4 per cent in 2016-17.”
Australia is more than mining
Australia’s export sectors are so much more diverse than resources these days, Felsman notes.
Among the biggest sales and service income generators over 2016-17 were Agriculture (+8.6%), Professional, Scientific and technical services (+6.6%), Wholesale trade (+4.9%) and Administrative and support services (+4.1%).
“At a sub-industry level the top income generators included Aquaculture (+10.8%), Motor vehicles and Parts wholesaling (+12%) and Heritage activities (+13.4 per cent).
“Australia is well underway in transitioning from supplying Asian consumers with mining commodities to supplying the region with high quality food, beverages and other consumer products,” says Felsman. “Exports of dairy products, wine, vitamins and pharmaceutical products to China have grown significantly.”
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