The ABS just reported that during the third quarter of 2014 Australian company gross operating profits rose a seasonally adjusted 0.5%, against market expectations of a fall of 1.3%.
This positive seasonally adjusted outcome masked the fact that overall profits have been under pressure with the trend estimate for the quarter down 2.7%.
Breaking gross operating profits down by industry (in seasonally adjusted terms) across the quarter show:
- Mining – fell 5% with wages also 5% lower.
- Manufacturing – rose 9.4% with wages down 0.5%.
- Electricity and Gas – fell 0.4% with wages and salaries up 2.6.
- Construction – fell 1% with wages up 1.1%.
- Wholesale Trade – rose 1.5% with wages up by the same amount.
- Retail Trade – profits rose 2.3% with wages up 0.6%.
- Accommodation and Food Services – up 6.3% with wages up 2.5%.
- Transport, Postal and Warehousing – up 0.7% with wages up 1.3%.
- Information Media and Telecommunications – fell 5.6% with wages down 1.4%.
- Financial and Insurance services – up 42.7%, impacted by the banks no doubt, with wages up 1.1%.
- Rental, Hiring and Real estate Services – unchanged with wages down 2.3%.
- Professional Scientific and Technical Services – down 3.4% with wages up 0.7%.
- Admin and Support Services – up 34.9% with wages up 1.5%.
- Arts and Recreation Services – up 27.5% with wages up 0.7%.
- Other Services – up 14.6% with wages up 0.7%.
It is an interesting snapshot of the economy, at least until the end of September. But there are some signs, as Ivan Colhoun suggested in the NAB’s Australian Markets Weekly that, “All in all, despite much negativity on the economy, at the current juncture, growth does seem to have strengthened somewhat.”