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Australia Investment Spending Rises 2.1% on LNG, Deloitte Says

Australia’s business investment rose 2.1 percent in the fourth quarter, led by liquefied natural gas projects in resource-rich Queensland, a Deloitte Access Economics report showed.

Projects valued at A$415.4 billion ($442 billion) were committed or in progress as of Dec. 31, up A$8.6 billion from the previous three months and 43 percent higher than a year earlier, the Canberra-based research company said in a report released today.

“The value of projects under way provides a healthy buffer against a potential global slowdown in 2012,” the report showed. “Indeed, it is already providing the bulk of growth for the Australian economy at the moment. Engineering construction activity accounted for all of the growth in Australia’s economy during the September quarter of 2011.”

Projects include Origin Energy Ltd.’s A$19.6 billion Australia Pacific LNG project at Gladstone in Queensland state that is now under way, Deloitte Access said.

Mining accounts for 46 percent of all investment projects under construction or committed, according to Deloitte Access, which was founded by two former Treasury economists.

“That breadth of projects helped to deliver the strongest growth in business investment spending ever seen during the September quarter of 2011, at a time when many other sectors of the Australian economy were in the doldrums,” Deloitte Access said.

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