Australia: GDP growth remains stable in Q1
June 4, 2013
In the first quarter, GDP grew 0.6% over the previous quarter. The reading mirrored the 0.6% expansion recorded in the fourth quarter but was slightly below market expectations of a 0.7% rise. On an annual basis, GDP expanded 2.5%, which is down from the 3.2% expansion recorded in Q4 and marked the slowest reading since the last quarter of 2011.
The first quarter figure mainly reflected how a pick-up in the contribution from the external sector offset a moderation in domestic demand. Domestic demand fell 0.3% over the previous quarter, contrasting the 0.2% rise seen in the fourth quarter. Private consumption accelerated from a 0.4% expansion in Q4 to a 0.6% increase in Q1, whereas fixed investment dropped 2.3% (Q4: +0.1% quarter-on-quarter), marking the first contraction since the second quarter of 2009.
On the external side of the economy, exports of goods and services rose 1.2%, down from the 3.7% expansion seen in Q4, while imports contracted 3.5% (Q4: +0.4% qoq). As a result, the external sector's net contribution to overall growth rose from 0.7 percentage points in the fourth quarter to 1.0 percentage points in the first.
FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panellists see the economy expanding 2.6% in 2013, which is down 0.1 percentage points from last month's forecast. For 2014, the panel expects economic growth to accelerate to 3.1%.
Author: Armando Ciccarelli, Head of Data Solutions