Australia: GDP growth slows in Q4
March 7, 2012
In the fourth quarter, GDP expanded 2.3% over the same period the previous year, which was below both the 2.6% expansion recorded in the third quarter (previously reported: +2.5% year-on-year) and market analysts' expectations of a 2.4% rise. The fourth quarter moderation was mainly due to slowing domestic demand, as the external sector improved its net contribution to overall economic growth. Domestic demand (excluding inventories) expanded 4.4% annually, down from the 4.9% rise seen in the third quarter. In particular, fixed investment slowed from a 10.1% expansion in Q3 to an 8.2% rise in Q4. Finally, private consumption expanded 3.5%, unchanged from the result recorded in the previous quarter. Exports of goods and services rose 0.8%, down from Q3's 1.0% expansion, while imports increased 12.8%, marking a moderation compared to the 15.1% expansion observed in the previous quarter. As a result, the external sector's net contribution to overall growth rose from minus 3.0 percentage points in the third quarter to minus 2.6 percentage points in the forth. Quarterly figures corroborate the moderation seen in annual figures, as the economy expanded a seasonally adjusted 0.4% quarter-on-quarter, which was half the 0.8% increase recorded in Q3. In the full year 2011, the economy expanded 2.0%, which was down from 2010's 2.5% rise, but broadly in line with Consensus Forecast panellists' expectations of a 2.1% increase.
Author: Armando Ciccarelli, Head of Data Solutions