Guy Debelle: Business investment in Australia

Address by Mr Guy Debelle, Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia, at the UBS Australasia Conference 2017, Sydney, 13 November 2017.

One of the ongoing themes in the global economy since the financial crisis has been the long-lasting paucity of business investment spending. This has been despite conditions that, in the past, have been very favourable for investment spending, such as low borrowing rates, strong corporate balance sheets and solid profitability.

In Australia, the story has been quite different. Investment spending here has been at a historically high level over much of the past decade. This has been primarily due to the strength of investment in the resources sector, which reached its highest share of activity in more than a century. So, unlike in other countries, there has been a significant addition to the capital stock in Australia over the past decade. We are seeing the fruits of that investment in the strong growth in resource exports.