The release of economic growth data shows the Australian economy grew strongly during the March quarter but the printing industry continued to remain in a recession with economic growth declining for a third consecutive quarter.
The economy expanded in trend terms by 0.9 per cent during the March 2012 quarter which helped to lift the annual growth rate to an impressive 3.6 per cent.
Contributing to growth during the quarter were household consumption and non-dwelling construction while net exports (exports less imports) detracted from growth.
At an industry level, agriculture, mining, financial and insurance services, professional scientific and technical services, public administration, health care and social services all made positive contributions to growth on a trend basis.
Once again there were wide differences final demand growth rates between the states and territories with the resource rich states of Western Australia and Queensland growing at robust annual robust of 13.6 per cent and 7.8 per cent.
The services/manufacturing based states of New South Wales and Victoria grew at very modest annual rates of 2.1 per cent and 1.9 per cent respectively. South Australia grew by 0.7 per cent, the Australian Capital Territory 3.2 per cent and Northern Territory an impressive 15.1 per cent. Tasmania contracted by 0.2 per cent.
All the major economic data for the printing industry covering the March 2012 quarter has now been released and it does not make for happy reading. The reported outcomes for the printing industry during the March quarter are all in a downward direction.
New capital expenditure was reported to have declined by 13.0 per cent compared to the previous quarter. For the year to March the industry undertook some $266m worth of new investments representing an improvement of 12.9 per cent on the previous period's reported outcome.
Based on capital expenditure expectations, some $200m of investment is in the industry's investment pipeline.
Printing industry sales contracted by 4.9 per cent during the quarter and the reported $7,870m sales figure during the year to March represents a deterioration of 4.5 per cent.
The decline in industry pre-tax profits during the quarter was in the order of 5.3 per cent. Despite the poor outcome, pre-tax profits are up by 6.0 per cent for the year to March.
Finally, economic growth date confirms that the printing industry recession continued for another quarter. The printing industry contracted by 5.3 per cent during the March quarter compared to the previous quarter, which was the third consecutive quarter of reported decline. The actual reported March outcome was 13.6 per cent lower than the same period a year earlier.
The industry gross value added declined to $3,915m during the year to March representing deterioration of 4.3 per cent on the same period a year earlier.