8104.0 - Research and Experimental Development, Businesses, Australia, 1998-99  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 03/07/2000   
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July 03, 2000
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)

Business R&D falls for third year in a row

Research and development (R&D) undertaken by Australian businesses decreased for the third consecutive year in 1998-99.

Figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) show estimates of business expenditure on research and development (BERD) were down 5 per cent in current price terms compared with 1997-98 and 9 per cent compared with 1995-96. Human resource effort expended on R&D was down 1 per cent.

BERD had been steadily increasing before 1996-97, with average annual rates of growth between 1992-93 and 1995-96 of 15 per cent in current prices and 13 per cent in volume terms.

As a result of the falls, BERD as a proportion of Australia's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) fell from 0.86 per cent in 1995-96 to 0.67 per cent in 1998-99. Most other OECD countries increased their BERD/GDP ratios over this period.

The mining industry recorded a 10 per cent decrease in R&D expenditure, while the manufacturing industry also fell by 7 per cent. R&D expenditure by other industries (in total) remained the same.

Compared to 1997-98, R&D expenditure fell by $96m in New South Wales, $47m in Queensland, $30m in Western Australia, $9m in Victoria and $1m in South Australia. Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory, in total, fell by $33m.

Full details are in Research and Experimental Development, Businesses, Australia, 1998-99 (cat. no. 8104.0), which is available in ABS bookshops. The summary of the main features of the publication may be found on this site. If you wish to purchase a copy of this publication, contact the ABS bookshop in your capital city.