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China downturn hits Australia

A downgrade in China’s growth forecast last week triggered fears of job losses in Australia’s coal mining related civil engineering sector.

The International Monetary Fund downgraded China’s growth forecast for 2013 to 8% - down two percentage points on previous predictions.

Australia has recently witnessed a boom in mining and associated civil engineering work, resulting in a high demand for engineers from overseas.

Australia

Australia: Mining downturn follows Chinese economic slowdown

China had been a significant market for Australian coal but the downward growth revision and the development of shale gas extraction and subsequent drop in natural gas prices have hit Australian coal prices.

Cost consultant Turner &Townsend global head of mining and metals Mark Wainwright said consultants working in the sector were now having to make job cuts.

This includes engineers originally from the UK, who had been drawn into the boom.

“Engineering firms are looking at the numbers and there have been cuts,” said Wainwright.

However, he said that consultants were attempting to handle workload shortages by moving staff to other sectors.

He said Turner & Townsend had moved staff into other projects

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