COAL and iron ore are losing their place as drivers of Australia’s economic growth.
Unexpectedly bad trade figures for February show income from resource exports down for the second consecutive month.
Over the quarter, income from coal exports fell 19 per cent, and income from metal ores and minerals exports fell 10 per cent.
”The commodity price cycle peaked in the third quarter of last year,” said the chief economist at HSBC, Paul Bloxham.
”Indeed, with global growth expected to be below trend and more commodity supply likely to come on stream over the next year or two, it appears likely Australia’s terms of trade peaked in the third quarter as well.”
Australia recorded its second trade deficit in a row in February: $480 million after a downwards revised $971 million in January.
The balance had been in the black for all but one of the previous 21 months, the exception being flood-affected February 2011.