The NSW Minerals Council is out spruiking the benefits of the mining industry in the Hunter region in a new economic study. Using the same old tricks to inflate their numbers and ignoring any economic downside they manage to spin the result into a rosy picture that reaches the epic proportions of claiming that the mining industry is responsible for a quarter of the economic output of the Hunter region. The Minerals Council has said mining companies spent $4.6billion on wages, goods and services and community contributions in the Hunter in 2011-12. They go on to claim that this figure can be increased to $9.3billion when indirect spending is taken into account. But indirect spending is simply an economic sleight of hand employed by industries that can afford to pay economic consulting firms to inflate their numbers.