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Mining a significant contributor to Australia's economic growth

16 June, 2016

National accounts data released recently by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) confirm that mining production remains a significant contributor to Australia’s economic growth.

The ABS observes that exports (which grew by 4.4 per cent) were the major driver of the March quarter growth rate of 1.1 per cent, contributing 1.0 percentage point to growth.

Increasing exports were in turn driven by mining, which contributed 0.5 percentage points to GDP growth in the March quarter 2016.

Mining production rose by 6.2 per cent from the December quarter 2015 and 11.2 per cent in the year to March 2016.

The ABS also notes that Australia's largest export industry, iron ore, enjoyed its fifteenth consecutive quarter of production growth.  Iron ore mining increased 7.6 per cent in the March quarter and 14.9 per cent in the year to March 2016.

According to the latest Resources and Energy Quarterly from the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, Australia's iron ore and gold exports are forecast to increase 8 and 9 per cent respectively in 2015-16, supported by a rapid increase in production in these commodities.

These data demonstrate that the mining sector is making efficient use of the large capital stock built up during the investment phase of the mining boom.

These figures are also a timely reminder that all members of parliament have a responsibility to support sound policy settings – whether on tax and spending, workplace relations or regulatory reform – that encourage investment and improve productivity.

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