Australia GDP


GDP grows at fastest pace in almost five years

In the first quarter, GDP expanded 4.3% over the same period last year, which was above both the 2.5% expansion recorded in the fourth quarter (previously reported: +2.6% year-on-year) and market analysts' expectations of a 3.2% rise. The reading marks, in fact, the strongest result since the third quarter of 2007. The first quarter improvement was broad-based, with both domestic demand and the external sector improving their contribution to overall economic growth. Domestic demand expanded 5.0% annually, up from the 4.3% rise seen in the fourth quarter. In particular, private consumption improved from a 3.2% expansion in Q4 2011 to a 4.2% rise in Q1 2012. Moreover, fixed investment expanded 9.0%, up from the 8.6% increase recorded in the previous quarter. Exports of goods and services rose 6.3%, up from Q4's 1.3% expansion, while imports increased 11.5%, marking a moderation compared to the 12.5% expansion observed in the previous quarter. As a result, the external sector's net contribution to overall growth rose from minus 2.4 percentage points in the fourth quarter to minus 1.3 percentage points in the first. Quarterly figures corroborate the improvement seen in annual figures, as the economy expanded a seasonally adjusted 1.3% over the previous quarter, which more than doubled the 0.6% increase recorded in Q4.

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