Economy grew 0.3 per cent in September quarter

The Australian economy grew 0.3 per cent in seasonally adjusted chain volume terms in the September quarter 2018, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today.

ABS Chief Economist, Bruce Hockman, said: “The household sector drove domestic growth with increased consumption supported by moderate rises in household income.”

Household consumption rose 0.3 per cent driven by non-discretionary spending on food and housing. Spending on discretionary items slowed during the quarter. Household gross disposable income continued to grow at a slow pace due to moderate growth in household income being partially offset by a rise in income tax payable.

The subdued growth in gross disposable income coupled with an increase in household consumption resulted in the household saving ratio declining to 2.4 per cent in the September quarter. This is the lowest saving rate since December 2007.

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Compensation of employees increased across all states and territories with the exception of the Northern Territory. “The increase in wages was consistent with strong employment growth as reported in the latest ABS Labour Force data, as well as a lift in wage rates.” Mr Hockman added.

Public spending was funded through increased revenue. General government final consumption expenditure increased 0.5 per cent underpinned by continued expenditure in health, aged care and disability services. Public investment remained at high levels with continued work on a number of large infrastructure projects around the nation.

Health care and social assistance output also recorded strong growth reflecting ongoing public investment in health care. Growth was also observed in services industries supporting infrastructure projects. Professional, scientific and technical services, Rental, hiring and real estate services and Administrative and support services all recorded growth during the quarter.

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