2012 best industries

Which Australian industries are peaking this year? IBISWorld General Manager, Karen Dobie, dissects the research.

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Business information research firm, IBISWorld, recently revealed its annual list nominating the top five industries predicted to soar (or at least do better than the previous year) in 2012.

Industries tipped to go better this year are:

  1. Diamond and gemstone mining
  2. Car manufacturing (coming off a low base after the past few challenging years)
  3. Online education
  4. Biotechnology
  5. Online domestic shopping

Also, the mining industry as a whole is expected to continue its dream run for two reasons:

  1. Demand from resource-hungryIndiaandChina
  2. Rising prices in line with a stronger exchange rate, leading to an expected growth rate for the sector of 10.5 percent for 2012.

To Karen Dobie, IBISWorld’s General Manager, these results weren’t too much of a surprise: they reflect some overarching trends affecting the dynamic ofAustralia’s economy.

Three overall trends affecting the economy, by Karen Dobie

Trend 1: A continuation of technological change creating new industries and fostering their growth, as seen with online education, biotechnology and online shopping.

Trend 2: The decline inAustralia’s manufacturing industry due to its exposure to global competition – iron and steel manufacturing, plus pulp, paper and paperboard manufacturing.

Trend 3: Some industries have experienced marked fluctuations in growth due to changes in production volumes. Some have had strong growth this year because of low production levels the previous year (think diamond and gemstone mining and car manufacturing), while others have had a growth decline due to high production levels the previous year (cotton ginning, for instance).

Some high-performing industries in 2011 are expected to ease back in 2012

One threat to top-performing sectors is skills gaps, as these industries will be competing for a smaller pool of talent to manage the productivity surge. “Many industries expected to fare well this year fall into the mining category,” Dobie explains, “but since these industries all rely on labour with similar skills sets, they’ll be affected more by skills shortage concerns as they all draw from the same pool of labour.”

However, there’ll always be organisations that buck the trend for their sector. “Many businesses succeed while their industries are in a downturn, often due to new innovations they bring to the table,” Dobie points out. “Over half of the Fortune 500 companies in 2009 started during a downturn.”

Read more from the IBISWorld industry performance report.