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Australia GDP Q3 2023

Australia: GDP grows at softest pace since Q3 2022 in the third quarter

GDP growth ebbed to 0.2% on a seasonally adjusted quarter-on-quarter basis in the third quarter, from 0.4% in the second quarter. Q3’s reading marked the slowest growth since Q3 2022.

The downturn was driven by weakening private consumption, fixed investment and exports.

Household spending recorded zero growth in the third quarter, which was below the second quarter’s 0.1% expansion. Government spending, meanwhile, sped up to a 2.6% increase in Q3 (Q2: +1.4% s.a. qoq). Moreover, fixed investment growth fell to 1.1% in Q3, marking the worst result since Q4 2022 (Q2: +2.7% s.a. qoq), amid higher interest rates.

On the external front, exports of goods and services contracted 0.7% in Q3, marking the worst result since Q1 2022 (Q2: +4.5% s.a. qoq). Conversely, imports of goods and services growth accelerated moderately to 2.1% in Q3 (Q2: +1.8% s.a. qoq). On an annual basis, economic growth accelerated to 2.1% in Q3, following the previous period’s 2.0% growth.

The economy should expand at a relatively paltry pace in 2024 amid historically high inflation and interest rates. That said, sustained population growth, a further recovery in tourism and resilient global commodity demand will support activity. The evolution of China’s economy, particularly its housing market, is the key factor to monitor.

ING’s Robert Carnell commented:

“Today’s data don’t close the book on further rate hikes, but they do make it harder for the RBA to justify further hikes without some stronger accompanying evidence that the inflation battle is stalling.”

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