Economy grows 0.3 per cent in March quarter

GDP growth moderates as dwelling investment and exports detract from growth

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows the pace of growth of the Australian economy slowed in the March quarter to 0.3 per cent in seasonally adjusted chain volume terms. Through the year, GDP grew 1.7 per cent.

Growth was recorded across the economy with 17 out of 20 industries growing during the quarter. Strong growth was observed within the service industries including Finance and Insurance Services, Wholesale Trade, and Health Care and Social Assistance.

Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing decreased after strong growth in the previous two quarters, while Manufacturing decreased for the tenth time in eleven quarters.

Chief Economist for the ABS, Bruce Hockman said; “This broad-based growth was tempered by falls in exports and dwelling investment. Dwelling investment declined in all states, except Victoria, and overall is the largest decline for Australia since June 2009.”

Compensation of employees (COE) increased 1.0 per cent in the March quarter, a pick up from the negative growth recorded in the December quarter, and is consistent with other labour market data. COE is still only 1.5 per cent higher through the year, continuing to contribute to the reduction in the household saving rate. The household saving ratio fell to 4.7 in the March quarter, half the rate it was in March quarter 2013.

Read more:  High range drink driver at Hervey Bay, QLD

Mr Hockman said; “Even though there was a fall in dwelling investment this quarter, levels are still historically high. There was also positive growth in household consumption, albeit in non-discretionary items such as electricity and fuel purchases. The softer growth in household consumption is broadly in line with modest income growth.”