Fall in exports to hit economic growth

Posted June 07, 2017

Australia's net foreign debt fell by 1.0% in the first quarter from the fourth quarter of past year, the ABS said.

New Zealand growth numbers for the first three months of the year are due on 15 June, with expectations for a rise of about 0.5 percent on the previous quarter and an annual rate of just below 3 percent.

The chief economist at CommSec, Craig James, believes that despite the lower levels of growth in this period following a steep decline in the housing sector with dwellings data detracting from growth in the quarter, the outlook still remains positive.

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Although this represents the slowest level of yearly growth since 2009, it also sees Australia match the Netherlands to share the record for longest stretch of uninterrupted economic growth (103 consecutive quarters).

The growth in the nation's economy was bigger than what economists have anticipated.

The outcome largely matched economist's forecast for growth of 0.3 per cent and 1.6 per cent respectively.

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"The results today demonstrate the continued resilience of the Australian economy", Treasurer Scott Morrison told reporters. "Slow growth in real wages is restraining growth in household consumption". "The softer growth in household consumption is broadly in line with modest income growth".

Australia's terms of trade on goods and services - the prices of exports relative to the prices of imports - rose 6.6 per cent in the quarter.

Australia's economic scorecard is out. Through the year, GDP grew 1.7 per cent. "If you separate out all the one off and seasonal factors we're only breaking even or are slightly negative". "Outside that compensation is not keeping up and savings are falling as people use them to make up for it".

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"Consumer spending was quite soft in the quarter, business investment is still pretty soft, we still got mining investment contracting, not a lot of uptake in non-mining investment, public demand I think is down as well".