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8143.0 - Information Technology, Australia, Preliminary, 1995-96  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 26/05/1997   
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May 26, 1997
Embargoed 11:30am (AEST)

IT&T trade deficit almost doubles in three years

The balance of trade in IT&T goods and services has grown to about $7 billion compared with about $3.8 billion in 1992-93, according to preliminary 1995-96 results of the Australian Bureau of Statistics' survey of Information Technology and Telecommunications businesses which were released today.

Of the $31.5 billion in revenue from domestic production, only a relatively small proportion was destined for the export market. Exports for 1995-96 amounted to $3.6 billion whereas imports were $10.7 billion for the same period.

Computer hardware imports of $5.5 billion for the period accounted for just over half of total imports of IT&T. Telecommunications hardware imports added a further $1.9 billion.

The ABS survey, which measured the manufacture and distribution of computing and telecommunications equipment, telecommunications services and computer services, showed that there are now just over 13,500 businesses which specialise in these activities. These businesses employed 209,000 people at 30 June 1996 and generated IT&T revenue of $47 billion.

The survey showed that the industry had almost doubled in size since the previous survey in 1992-93. The ABS however cautioned that something in the order of 10 per cent of this increase could be due to better survey coverage rather than genuine industry growth.

Large increases since 1992-93 are evident in the computer wholesaling and computer services industries in particular. The increase in wholesale volumes appears to be significantly based on imported goods rather than local manufacturing activity. Manufacturing industry accounted for about $4.6 billion in IT&T revenue compared to about $16.5 billion for wholesalers.

Details are in Information Technology, Australia, 1995-96, Preliminary (cat. no. 8143.0). Final results will be published in Information Technology , Australia, 1995-96 (cat. no. 8126.0).

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