Economy grew 1.0 per cent in March quarter

The Australian economy grew 1.0 per cent in seasonally adjusted chain volume terms in the March quarter 2018 led by growth in exports of mining commodities, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today.

Chief Economist for the ABS, Bruce Hockman, said: “Growth in exports accounted for half the growth in GDP, and reflected strength in exports of mining commodities.”

Mining industry Gross Value Added grew 2.9 per cent during the quarter. Production of coal, iron ore and liquefied natural gas showed strong increases.

Private non-financial corporations profits increased by 6.0 per cent in the March quarter, the strongest increase in the past year. “The rise in profits was consistent with the strong increase in mining exports coupled with a lift in the terms of trade this quarter.” Mr Hockman added.

Private investment contributed to GDP growth with continued strong investment in machinery and equipment, and was particularly strong in the non-mining sector. Growth in the construction of new dwellings fell slightly, but the recent high levels continued, consistent with the number of building approvals observed in recent months.

General government final consumption expenditure increased 1.6 per cent and was up 5.1 per cent through the year. Public investment fell slightly but remained at elevated levels.

Household consumption grew by 0.3 per cent driven by rises in non-discretionary items and grew 2.9% through the year. The household savings ratio fell to 2.1 per cent and was at its lowest rate since December 2007. The savings ratio declined over the past decade but the rate of decline has moderated in the past 4 quarters.

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