First quarter (Q1) Private Capital Expenditure arrives big miss (-1.7% vs 0.5%) , AUD lower


  • First quarter (Q1) Private Capital Expenditure (Capex) and April Building Approvals have just come in and numbers are awful
  • Capex arrived bearish for AUD.
  • Building Approvals arrived bearish for AUD. 

The main focus is on Private Capital Expenditure where a small decline in expenditure for Q1 2019 was expected on the street. Analysts at ANZ Bank Australia were noting that Business conditions had not recovered since the deterioration in late 2018, while trade tension overseas sows doubt, adding:

"Mining capex is nearing the end of its downturn and plans for 2019-20 are upbeat. We expect only a small improvement in non-mining capex plans from the December quarter estimate."

The data arrived as follows:

  • Private Capital Expenditure (Q1): -1.7%  vs expected 0.5% and vs prior 2.0%.
  • Capex Plant and Machinery expenditure -0.5% q/q with capex building -2.8% (q/q) - (AUD bearish).
  • Building Approvals April, month on month: -15.5% vs expected 0.0% and vs prior -15.5%.
  • Building Approvals April, year on year: - 24.2% (more to come)  vs prior -27.3%.

Full report for Capex and Building Approvals

About the Private Capital Expenditure

The Private Capital Expenditure released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics measures current and future capital expenditure intentions of the private sector. It is considered as an indicator for inflationary pressures. A high reading is seen as positive (or bullish) for the AUD, while a low reading is seen as negative (or bearish).

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