The Australian industries taking off, and bombing, in 2017

Lisa Maree Williams/City of Sydney/Getty Images

If you’re looking for investment opportunities in 2017, child care services look good, as do road and bridge construction, but stay away from milk powder manufacturing, apartments and townhouse construction.

Industry analysts IBISWorld have taken a look at which areas of the economy are likely to grow and fall in 2017.

“Many of the industries likely to disappoint this year have performed strongly in recent years, but research suggests boom times for these industries are over, at least for the next 12 months,” says IBISWorld senior industry analyst Nathan Cloutman.

“Some of the industries that IBISWorld anticipates will grow over 2017 have remained depressed for some years, giving rise to demand for those industries’ products and services.”

Here are IBISWorld’s picks for 2017:


IBISWorld says several giant transport infrastructure projects are driving accelerated expansion. Industry revenue is expected to surge by 27.2% in 2016-17, climbing to $20.1 billion.

“Much of the current robust growth has been due to the early construction phases of the Herculean NorthConnex M1 to M2 link and WestConnex projects in Sydney,” says Cloutman.

“These private-public funded projects are set to dominate the road construction landscape for several years.”

The data storage services industry has been growing strongly for five years, with revenue projected to grow by 14.4% in 2016-17 to hit $2.1 billion.

“A dramatic rise in internet traffic and corresponding increases in demand for cloud storage solutions have driven growth,” says Cloutman.

“Cloud computing has enabled businesses to reduce their capital expenditure and make use of economies of scale by outsourcing IT requirements to data storage service operators.”

Revenue in child care services is forecast to rise by 12% in 2016-17 to hit $12.4 billion.

The heavy industry and other non-building construction is forecast to fall by 38.1% to $37.8 billion, down almost half on peak revenue in 2013-14 of $71.6 billion.

And following several years of strong growth, IBISWorld forecasts the multi-unit apartment and townhouse construction to fall by 26% to $19.3 billion.

“Investment in apartment construction has been the strongest performer of the national building market over the past five years,” he says.

“A long-term shift in Australian housing preferences has enhanced this trend, as consumers have moved away from traditional low-density detached houses and towards higher-density apartments.”

However, demand is expected to deteriorate sharply during the current year with the completion of major developments and as oversupply conditions emerge in several key markets.

IBISWorld is forecasting a 12.2% fall in milk powder manufacturing revenue to $757 million.

“The milk powder manufacturing industry heavily relies on export markets, which account for approximately 90% of industry revenue,” says Cloutman.

“Consequently, fluctuations in global milk powder prices play a major role in the industry’s performance. Global milk powder prices collapsed during 2014-15 amid concerns about excessive increases in milk powder supplies.”