Australian firms scaled back investment spending by 0.2% in the fourth quarter of 2017 from the third quarter, dragged down by another weak quarter of mining investment.
Economists had on average expected a 1.0% rise over the quarter in new investment.
Looking forward, firms said they expect to ramp up investment in 2017-18 by a total of 2.5% compared with a year earlier, with an initial estimate for 2018-19 pointing to a 3.5% rise over the year, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
In the fourth quarter, mining investment fell by 4.7% while investment in buildings and structures fell by 2.1%.
Elsewhere, plant and machinery investment rose by 2.2% while manufacturing saw a 2.6% rise.
Australia's economy is shaking off years of a mining investment downturn, which has acted to slow growth since around 2012.
That process is expected to run for a few more quarters, but the hit to GDP growth is fading quickly while other sectors like services are in a strong expansion.
Non-mining investment has risen by around 10% in the last year, with government infrastructure spending also a strong driver of activity.