5625.0 - Private New Capital Expenditure and Expected Expenditure, Australia, Mar 2020 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 28/05/2020   
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March key figures

Mar Qtr 20
Dec Qtr 19 to Mar Qtr 20
Mar Qtr 19 to Mar Qtr 20
% change
% change

Seasonally adjusted(a)
Total new capital expenditure
27 964
Buildings and structures
14 699
Equipment, plant and machinery
13 265

(a) In volume terms
New Capital Expenditure,
in volume terms,
seasonally adjusted
Graph: Frontpage Total Capex

March key points

Actual expenditure (seasonally adjusted in volume terms )
  • Total new capital expenditure fell by -1.6% in the March quarter 2020. This follows a fall of -2.6% in the December quarter 2019.
  • Buildings and structures fell by -1.1% in the March quarter 2020. This follows a fall of -5.2% in the December quarter 2019.
  • Equipment, plant and machinery fell by -2.3% in the March quarter 2020. This follows a rise of 0.4% in the December quarter 2019.

Expected expenditure (current price terms)
  • This issue includes the sixth estimate (Estimate 6) for 2019-20 and the second estimate (Estimate 2) for 2020-21.
  • Estimate 6 for 2019-20 is $115,434m. This is -5.6% lower than Estimate 6 for 2018-19.
  • Estimate 6 is -3.8% lower than Estimate 5 for 2019-20.
  • Estimate 2 for 2020-21 is $90,891m. This is -7.9% lower than Estimate 2 for 2019-20.
  • Estimate 2 is -8.8% lower than Estimate 1 for 2020-21.

Forthcoming issues

ISSUE (QUARTER) Release Date
June 2020 27 August 2020
September 2020 26 November 2020
December 2020 25 February 2021
March 2021 27 May 2021

Corona virus (COVID-19) in March quarter

The World Health Organisation (WHO) commenced daily situation reports of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak on 21 January 2020 and identified it as an international health emergency on 30 January. From 1 February, the Australian Government placed travel restrictions on those travelling to Australia from mainland China. These restrictions were progressively increased until they applied to all non-residents. In March, regulations to encourage social distancing saw further impacts on the ability of businesses to trade as normal. This included restrictions on dining-in at restaurants and restrictions on the number of people that could be in a shop at a particular time.

COVID-19 saw a minor impact on data collection activities for the March quarter 2020 reference quarter.

Individual businesses reported a number of impacts attributed to COVID-19 but mainly in regard to expectations data published in this release.

Suspension of trend series

The trend series attempts to measure underlying behaviour in business investment. In the short term, this measurement will be significantly affected by changes to regular patterns in spending that will occur during this time, as certain businesses are restricted from trading for example. If the trend estimates in this publication were to be calculated without fully accounting for this irregular event, they would likely provide a misleading view of underlying business new capital expenditure.

It may be some time before the underlying trend in business spend on new capital expenditure can be accurately estimated. The new capital expenditure trend series has therefore been suspended as at March quarter 2020. The trend series will be reinstated when more certainty emerges in the underlying trend.


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