The production of IT&T equipment in Australia is falling despite steady
growth in rest of the industry, with the domestic market now importing more
than three times as much computer equipment as it is making, according to
new figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
The ABS reports a 27% drop in the local production of computer and
telecommunications equipment in the three years to 1998/99, further offset
by a jump in imports.
In 1998/99, imports of PC and telecommunications products had climbed
21% to reach AUS$10 million (US$6 million), while income from manufacturing
was also down 33% from the previous survey in 1995/96.
The downturn in manufacturing has also affected jobs, with employment in
the manufacturing sector slumping 42% during the survey period. Other
sectors to record falls in employment include wholesale (11%) and
telecommunication services (18%).
However, income across the IT&T sector as a whole continued to rise,
growing by 21% to reach AUS$59 billion (US$35.4 billion) in 1998/99.
Telecommunication services recorded the largest increase, with income up