This one thing is holding back Australia's economy

HSBC's chief economist shares his thoughts on investment, business and the changing mining industry.

Paul Bloxham

The chief economist for Australia and New Zealand at HSBC, Paul Bloxham spent 12 years at the Reserve Bank of Australia. There, among other roles, he headed the overseas economies section. He is also an adjunct professor at Curtin University.

What’s been happening to Australia’s economy?

Australia’s economy is still rebalancing its growth, from mining investment-led growth to the non-mining sectors. Mining investment peaked in 2012 and is continuing to fall, and growth needs to shift to other sectors of the economy. It’s apparent that it’s happening in [housing] construction … Households are filling their new and more expensive houses with more furnishings.

So what’s holding back growth?

Businesses’ willingness to invest. We are seeing some signs that businesses are prepared to do a bit more hiring … Businesses are reluctant to make big investment plans. It’s been a challenging rebalancing.

What’s going to be the next source of growth?

The services sector – health services and professional services, which are already driving employment growth, [plus] tourism, education services and business services exported to Asia in particular.

This article is from the August issue of INTHEBLACK

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August 2015
August 2015

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