WEEKEND ECONOMIST: Non-mining malaise

The latest Westpac-ACCI survey of industrial trends clearly shows that Australia's non-mining economy is struggling. This fact, combined with a weak labour market, leaves plenty of room for another rate cut.

In the March quarter, the Westpac–ACCI actual composite edged lower to 47.4. The index has now been in the sub-50 contractionary zone for a year, averaging 48.1 during that time. That is well below the year to March 2011 average of 54.3, but is still well above the low levels seen in the midst of the global financial crisis. The sub-50 readings for the actual composite over the past year have pointed towards weak conditions in the sector and, more broadly, a deceleration in domestic demand growth – a trend that has also been evident in the national accounts data.

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