New car sales are plunging, with the mining states and commercial vehicles leading the charge according to ACA Research into sales for the first half of 2014.
Compared with the same six months of 2013, commercial vehicle sales were down 5.3 per cent and business purchases down 8.9 per cent, the figures show.
Sales of Toyota Hilux were down 10.3 per cent, yet it remains Australia’s top selling ute, easily beating Ford Ranger and sitting as the fifth best-selling vehicle overall.
Total vehicle sales were down in every state except for a modest 1.1 per cent increase in NSW. The mining states were the hardest hit with Western Australian leading the plunge with an 8.8 per cent decrease and Queensland the second worse off with sales down 4.7 per cent.
The softening of the resource sector is likely to account for the mining states particularly poor performance as the resources construction phase winds down.
Indeed total unemployment has risen from 5.7 to 6.4 per cent in the last 12 months which equates to around 109,000 extra unemployed according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
Another 75,000 jobs are forecast to go in the mining sector alone over the next three years with reskilling of workers advised to secure future employment.
According to the Reserve Bank the mining boom flowed money into many aspects of the economy and has helped general incomes with it estimating “that the mining boom boosted real per capita household disposable income by 13 per cent by 2013.”
The chief executive of the Australian Motor Industry Federation, Richard Dudley told News.com.au, that increased unemployment and concern over the federal budget had contributed to lacklustre new car sales figures.
“Rising unemployment and delays in changes to the Federal Budget have caused uncertainty, and that’s enough to put the brakes on car sales,” Mr Dudley reportedly said.
Graph Data | RBA Report: The Effect of the Mining Boom on the Australian Economy
Vehicle Image | Bigstock