The author has been described by News Ltd as an "iconoclast", "Svengali", a pollie's "economist muse", and "pungently accurate". Fairfax says he is a "Renaissance man" and "one of Australia’s most respected analysts." Stephen Koukoulas concludes that he is "85% right", and "would make a great Opposition leader." Terry McCrann claims the author thinks "‘nuance’ is a trendy village in the south of France", but can be "scintillating" when he thinks "clearly". The ACTU reckons he’s "an enigma wrapped in a Bloomberg terminal, wrapped in some apparently well-honed abs."

Friday, July 8, 2011

How much of the "resources boom" is spent in Australia?

About half of all the overall capex is spent locally, according to Glenn Stevens:

"The first is that the impact of the resources sector expansion does get spread around, in more ways than might immediately be apparent. Obviously mining employs only a small share of the workforce directly – less than 2 per cent. But to produce a dollar of revenue, companies spend about 40 cents on acquiring non labour intermediate inputs, primarily from the domestic sector. Apart from the direct physical inputs, there are effects on utilities, transport, business services such as engineering, accounting, legal, exploration and other industries. It is noteworthy that a number of these areas are growing quickly at present.

Once the costs of producing the output and other factors – such as taxes – are taken into account, the remaining revenue is distributed to shareholders or retained. While a significant proportion of the earnings distributed goes offshore, local shareholders also benefit. In fact, most of us are shareholders in the mining industry through our superannuation schemes.[2] We don't get this income directly to spend now – it is in our superannuation. Nonetheless, it is genuine income and a genuine increase in wealth.

A good proportion of the earnings retained by companies is used to fund a further build up of physical investment, which imparts demand to construction and manufacturing. Based on the industry liaison the Bank has done, around half – give or take – of the demand generated by these projects is typically filled locally, though, of course, this amount varies with the nature and details of any specific project."