Scientific and technological innovation is key to Australia's future by driving economic growth, untapping emerging opportunities, and building our country's resilience against risks and challenges. Understanding Australia's economic environment can help you prioritise science and technology investments and make informed decisions in an ever-changing world.

CSIRO's economic insights can help industry, government, and researchers keep up-to-date on the latest economic news and how it relates to developments in science and technology. In CSIRO's short-format Economic outlook series designed to efficiently brief executives, we describe the current macroeconomic environment, provide snapshots of key Australian industries, and discuss the implications of future scientific and technological innovation in Australia.


4 September 2020

Although the manufacturing sector's contribution to GDP has been declining, the sector is still a significant contributor to the Australian economy and supports other sectors to provide more value-added goods and services. COVID-19 has exposed supply chain vulnerabilities and dependencies on overseas manufactured products, and offers Australia an opportunity to maximise its local manufacturing capabilities to generate economic growth, local jobs and accelerate economic recovery.

Manufacturing outlook


7 August 2020

Despite a short-term demand plateau, growth will return as the recovery begins. Meeting global energy demand cleanly and cost-effectively offers Australia an opportunity to leverage its resources and capabilities to be a world-class energy and technology provider.

Energy outlook

 © Tom Fisk

Mining and minerals 

3 July 2020

While the Australian minerals sector continues to be dependent on world commodity markets of which we have very little influence, we can leverage science and technology to unlock value-adding growth opportunities and support economic recovery and resilience.

Mining and minerals outlook [pdf · 1mb]

Agriculture and food

5 June 2020

COVID-19 is driving increasing consumer focus on health and well-being, as well as a caution and selectiveness towards brands that demonstrate purpose and transparency and that align with their values. This economic outlook outlines the opportunities for Australian agriculture to leverage science and technology and drive value-added growth.

Agriculture and food outlook [pdf · 1mb]

 ©Tom Fisk

Supply chains

15 May 2020

One highly anticipated and increasingly observed impact of COVID-19 has been on supply chains. This economic outlook outlines the macroeconomics, supply chain disruptions and innovation opportunities.

Supply chains outlook [pdf · 1mb]


1 May 2020

Australian scientists, including scientists at the CSIRO Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness, have been working on disease preparedness for decades, placing us in an excellent position to respond rapidly to COVID-19. Much of the current response activity builds on these decades of planning and preparation. 

Health outlook [pdf · 1mb]

Economic sovereignty

17 April 2020

While much of the focus has been on flattening the curve, developing a vaccine and the immediate economic impacts of COVID-19, there has also been discussion about the economic recovery and the post-COVID economy. In particular, concepts such as economic sovereignty, sovereign capability and self-sufficiency have gained traction. 

Economic sovereignty outlook [pdf · 1mb]

Innovation community

3 April 2020

The Australian innovation community earns its revenue from both the public and private sectors and for both R&D and professional services. The two sectors and two types of activity may be either proactive or reactive or even uncorrelated to macroeconomic conditions. 

Innovation community outlook [pdf · 1mb]

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