Positive signs of recovery for the Tasmanian economy Thu 31 May 2012 Lara Giddings Premier The Premier, Lara Giddings, said ABS data released today provided further positive evidence of Tasmania's business-led economic recovery. Ms Giddings said private new capital expenditure had grown by 25 per cent over the past year and is now a whopping 73 per cent higher than the low recorded just over two years ago. "Private capital expenditure has now been growing for nine consecutive quarters, which is clear evidence of underlying confidence in our economy," Ms Giddings said. "Much of this growth has been driven by businesses taking advantage of the high Australian dollar to invest in plant and equipment, with spending in this area up 26.9 per cent. "But there are also flow-on benefits for our construction industry, with investment in buildings and structures up 16.7 per cent." In further encouraging news for the construction sector, building approvals also increased in March by 2.8 per cent. "While I acknowledge that we are still recovering from a very low base, this level of growth is encouraging against a backdrop of declines in every other state, including a 1.3 per cent fall nationally." Ms Giddings said the positive economic figures followed confirmation yesterday of three months of consecutive growth in retail spending. "While this growth is modest, it is a sign that confidence is slowly returning to Tasmanian households, which has a significant flow-on effect for the wider economy. "I would encourage the Liberal Opposition to welcome this news rather than reverting to their usual confidence-destroying campaign of negativity. "This week we have shown that there is plenty to be positive about. "On Monday the Minister for Resources Bryan Green announced a mining lease for Venture Mineral's Livingstone project near Tullah, which will create 30 jobs in the construction phase and a further 30 jobs in operation. "On Tuesday we granted state approvals for the massive expansion of the salmon industry in Macquarie Harbour which will create 200 jobs. "And today I have opened the $84 million Statewide Independent Wholesalers distribution centre, while Mr Green has announced the approval of the business case for the $40 million South East Irrigation Scheme.