The Australian minerals industry continues to make a significant contribution to the nation’s economic growth, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures released today.
The ABS National Accounts figures show that the Australian economy grew by 1.1 per cent in the December quarter, with the mining industry increasing 3.4 per cent, or $978 million, compared to the September quarter.
Mining accounted for 21.6 per cent of the growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the December quarter, making it the largest contributor to GDP growth for all industries.
The ABS note that the improvement in economic growth was driven by strong prices for key commodity exports. The Terms of trade grew by 9.1 per cent in the December quarter due to strong price rises with the value of iron ore exports were up 19 per cent compared to the September quarter, coal exports up 48 per cent and total value of minerals exports up 21 per cent over the same period.
These price rebounds have resulted in the terms of trade rising 15.6 per cent since the December quarter 2015.
For the full year 2016 the Australian economy grew 2.4 per cent. Mining accounted for 14.4 per cent of GDP growth in 2016 and it was the second largest contributor to GDP growth behind financial services (15.9 per cent).
While this is a positive result for the national economy, there is still a strong need for further reform to improve productivity that will create jobs, grow the economy and improve standards of living.