The economy slows as capital expenditure, R&D fade

Analysis by Peter Roberts Australia’s Productivity Commission has pointed to a deep seated sickness holding back the Australian economy caused by falling levels of company investment and R&D. The Commission’s Productivity Bulletin 2019 just released shows labour productivity rose in 2017/16 by 0.2 per cent. This measure of output per hour worked is way below…

Australia falls again in global broadband speed rankings

If fast broadband is essential to modern business including manufacturing, then you are all better off moving to that technology powerhouse Kazakhstan. The latest Ookla Speedtest Global Index places Australia’s $50 billion National Broadband Network (NBN) as the world’s 62nd fastest fixed broadband, down three places and falling behind the central Asian republic. The latest…

From tyranny of distance to centre of the global economy

For a century Australian businesses bemoaned the tyranny of distance that left us with poor prospects far from the world’s biggest markets. Today’s chart, from Visual Capitalist, brings home with a vengeance the newfound power of our location in the thick of the world’s fastest growing economies. In answers any questions you may have about…

Apprenticeships continue their freefall

Australia’s apprenticeship system continued its freefall in 2018, with bad news in all important statistics reported in the latest National Apprentice and Trainee statistics. The National Centre for Vocational and Educational Research (NCVER) reported that the number of apprentices in training as at 30 September, 2018 had fallen 0.6 per cent form the previous year…

China sneezes, will Australia catch cold?

Analysis by Peter Roberts China’s economy has finally cracked under multiple pressures ranging from a trade war with the US to massive over-building and related indebtedness. The boom economy which is a major supporter of Australia’s economic fortunes recorded exports in US dollar terms in February which were 20.7 per cent down on the previous…

Energy metals boom challenges Australia to add value

Today’s inforgarphic, from Visual Capitalist, throws down the challenge to Australia for the 21st Century. Will we ride this new bull wave for metals needed in the new economy simply by digging the stuff up and shipping it out? Or will we use our natural advantages, skills and wealth as a nation to go up…

Holden and Australia pay the price for ending manufacture

Comment by Peter Roberts It must have seemed such a good idea at the time – threaten the Australian government that you would pull out of local manufacturing if they didn’t cough up some extra dough. But for GM’s Holden subsidiary, 2018 was confirmation of what an own goal its threat was, slumping spectacularly in…