National Accounts Show 3.7% Annual Economic Growth

The National Accounts figures released today show economic growth of 0.6% in the June quarter. The annualised growth rate if 3.7%.

Treasurer Wayne Swan said the figures showed that Australia’s economy grew faster than every single major advanced economy, not only in the June quarer but over the year to June.

Australia has now completed 21 years of consecutive economic growth.

  • Listen to Swan’s press conference – transcript below (18m)

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Media statement from Treasurer Wayne Swan.

Today’s National Accounts reaffirm Australia’s position as one of the strongest economies in the world, and shines a light on our ongoing resilience in the face of significant international headwinds.

Gross Domestic Product rose by a solid 0.6 per cent in the June quarter, which builds upon exceptional growth in the March quarter, revised up to 1.4 per cent. This takes Australia’s growth performance to a robust 3.7 per cent through the year.

The National Accounts show the Australian economy grew faster than every single major advanced economy both in the June quarter and over the year to June, and has successfully completed a stunning 21 consecutive years of economic growth – a feat not matched by any other advanced economy over this period.

Australia’s economic performance in the June quarter was even more impressive against a backdrop of worsening global conditions, including a contraction in the euro area, moderating growth in the United States and the return of financial market turbulence. [Read more…]

Unexpected 1.3% Economic Growth Rate In March Quarter

National Accounts figures released today show a 1.3% economic growth rate in the March quarter.

A growth rate of around 0.6% was predicted by most economists.

A beaming Treasurer Wayne Swan told a press conference that the nation should have a bounce in its step today and described the result as “stunning set of numbers”.

Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey awkwardly told his press conference that the economic situation would be even better, “if only we had a good government”.

  • Listen to Treasurer Wayne Swan’s press conference (25m)

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  • Listen to Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey’s press conference (10m)

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Text of media release by Treasurer Wayne Swan.

Today’s National Accounts paint an extraordinary picture of exceptional growth in the March quarter, and showcase the rock-solid economic fundamentals which put our economy in a league of its own, despite ongoing global turbulence.

Gross Domestic Product rose by a stunning 1.3 per cent in the quarter to be 4.3 per cent higher through the year, underpinned by a broad-based surge in business investment and strong growth in household consumption.

This is a remarkable outcome and reaffirms Australia’s position as one of the strongest economies in the world, with the Australian economy growing faster than every single major advanced economy in the March quarter. In through the year terms, this result is the fastest growth in over four years, which have been the most turbulent in the global economy since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

These figures come at time when many advanced economies are struggling to grow at all, with a number of economies already in recession and suffering crippling levels of unemployment. Europe faces profound economic challenges and this continues to cast a shadow over the global outlook. Despite these global challenges, the contrast between many advanced economies and the Australian economy could not be more stark.

Household consumption grew by a strong 1.6 per cent in the quarter and 4.2 per cent through the year, which is above its long term trend. Consumption growth was broad-based in the quarter, with continued strength in the consumption of services, but also of goods, with consumers taking advantage of price discounting by retailers. At the same time, households continued to strengthen their balance sheets, with the household saving ratio remaining high at 9.3 per cent in the quarter, supported by strong growth in household incomes. [Read more…]

Economic Growth Declines 0.5% In December Quarter

Australia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) declined by 0.5% in the December quarter, according to the latest National Accounts figures.

The 0.5% contraction was lower than most commentators had predicted. Two consecutive quarters of contraction (illogicially known as “negative growth”) is defined as a recession.

Speaking in Canberra today, Treasurer Wayne Swan said the decline was to be expected but that Australia was cushioned to some extent from the global financial crisis by its stronger financial system.

Swan also argued that an increase in household savings in the quarter was a result of the 3% reduction in interest rates which had led to consumers paying down debt and restructuring their finances.

Swan said the effects of the government’s stimulus packages was yet to be fully reflected in the National Accounts.

Click the PLAY button to listen to Wayne Swan’s press conference:

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