Australia: GDP decelerates in Q4
March 5, 2013
In the fourth quarter, GDP expanded 0.6% over the previous quarter. The reading came in below the revised 0.7% expansion recorded in the third quarter (previously reported: +0.5% quarter-on-quarter) but was in line with market expectations. On an annual basis, GDP expanded 3.2%, up from the 3.1% recorded in Q3. For the full year 2012, GDP rose 3.6%, which was up from the 2.5% expansion recorded in 2011 and marked the strongest annual reading since 2007.
The deceleration in the fourth quarter mainly reflected how a negative shift in inventories offset a larger contribution to economic growth from both the rest of the domestic sector and from the external sector. Domestic demand ex-inventories expanded 0.3% over the previous quarter, up from the flat reading seen in the third quarter. Private consumption mirrored the 0.2% rise recorded in Q3, while fixed investment expanded 0.8% (Q3: +0.2% qoq).
On the external side of the economy, exports of goods and services rose 3.3%, up from the 1.6% expansion seen in Q3, while imports increased 0.7% (Q3: +0.4% qoq). As a result, the external sector's net contribution to overall growth rose from 0.3 percentage points in the third quarter to 0.6 percentage points in the fourth.
FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panellists see the economy expanding 2.7% in 2013, which is unchanged from last month's forecast. For 2014, the panel expects economic growth to accelerate to 3.2%.
Author: Armando Ciccarelli, Head of Data Solutions