Source: RBAThe Effect of the Mining Boom on the Australian Economy, written by economists Peter Downes, Kevin Anslow and Peter Tulip.
But we didn’t just spend the boom windfall on cars and household gadgets. It drove a 20 per cent lift in food purchases and an 8 per cent boost in purchases of communications services, such as internet and telephone use, the paper says. The splurge on new cars meant we also spend more on running them – the Reserve Bank estimates purchases related to “operating of motor vehicles”, mostly petrol, was about 5 per cent higher than it would have been without the boom.
The researchers found the boom has lowered unemployment by about 1.25 percentage points and that higher household income had stoked demand for housing. This has helped push up property values, although interest rates have also been higher than they otherwise would have been.
Renters have not fared so well out of the boom because it led to a substantial reduction in vacancy rates and a sharp rise in rents.
“Although high rents and house prices encourage housing construction, these effects are more than offset by higher interest rates after 2009 (relative to the counterfactual) … which depressed dwelling investment,” the paper said. “So despite strong demand, the supply of housing contracts, compounding the downward pressure on vacancies and upward pressure on rents.”
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