Territory economic review
NT Treasury, Economic Analysis Division
Territory economic review; Department of Treasury and Finance newsletters; PublicationNT; E-Journals
Date:2003-03; Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).; This publication contains may contain links to external sites. These external sites may no longer be active.
Northern Territory -- Economic conditions -- Periodicals
Northern Territory Government
Northern Territorty Government
MARCH 2003 12 TERRITORY ECONOMIC REVIEW www.nt.gov.au/ntt/economic engineering activity further boosted Engineering work on the railway, Bayu-Undan Stage One and East Arm Port Stage Two will continue to drive Territory investment in the short term. The Australian Senates ratification of the Timor Sea Treaty on 6 March means the last major hurdle to the commercialisation of gas reserves in Bayu-Undan has been resolved. Although no announcement regarding the status of Bayu-Undan Stage Two has been made, construction of the A$1.8 billion liquefied natural gas plant in Darwin, and A$1 billion pipeline is expected to commence in the coming months. likewise, non-residential building The pick up in non-residential building activity that occurred in 2002 is expected to continue in 2003, as work on a number of office, retail and hotel projects continues. Construction for the Chinatown development is also due to commence shortly, and will include a nine-storey office tower, two hotels, restaurants and retail space. Further out, as employment and population growth strengthen, there will be increased demand for social and commercial infrastructure. Small business confidence Although surveyed before the recent Timor Sea Treaty ratification, the Yellow Pages Business Index reports a fall in Territory small and medium enterprises (SME) confidence levels in the February quarter 2003. This comes after modest increases, albeit from a weak base, in the four previous quarters. affected by uncertainty Business confidence can be volatile, and in the past year or so has been affected by uncertainty as to whether prospective Timor Sea gas projects will proceed (with associated investment in the Darwin region). This uncertainty has contributed to business confidence in the Top End essentially being in a holding pattern. The impending deadline for the ratification of the Treaty may have influenced the dip in confidence levels in the February quarter. though some weakening in activity Nonetheless, the net balance (that is, the difference between the per cent positive and per cent negative responses) for the actual experience of Territory SMEs fell for all business indicators in the quarter. The size of workforce, wages bill, sales value and profitability indicators were markedly lower in actual terms than earlier expectations, but actual prices, and to a lesser extent, capital expenditure, were higher than expectations. Nationally, actual experience was slightly lower than expectations. and short term outlook The February survey reports that the net balance of short term business expectations for Territory SMEs was varied. The expectation is that prices, sales value and profitability will increase in the coming quarter, while capital expenditure, the wages bill and the size of workforce is expected to fall. However, as previously noted, these results are from a survey undertaken before the ratification of the Timor Sea Treaty. Territory Private New Capital Expenditure* 0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 $ billion Year ended June Equipment, Plant and Machinery Total Defence build-up Laminaria-Corallina Alice Springs to Darwin railway and Bayu-Undan Stage One Buildings and Structures $ billion * chain volume measure, moving annual total Source: NT Treasury, ABS data