Australia's economic growth slows to 0.2 pct in Q3

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, December 6, 2023
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CANBERRA, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) -- Australia's economic growth slowed to 0.2 percent in the third quarter of 2023.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday, Australia's gross domestic product (GDP) rose 0.2 percent in the third quarter.

It marked the eighth straight quarter of economic growth but a fall from 0.4 percent growth in the three months to the end of June.

The Australian Associated Press reported that economists had projected economic growth of 0.5 percent in the September quarter.

In the 12 months to the end of September, Australia's GDP grew 2.1 percent, the data showed.

Responding to the data, Treasurer Jim Chalmers said in a statement that the economic slowdown was an inevitable consequence of higher interest rates and international uncertainty.

"We know people are doing it very tough because of higher interest rates and international uncertainty, but welcome and encouraging progress is being made on the economy more broadly, even as it slows in expected ways," he said.

Katherine Keenan, head of national accounts at the bureau, said in a media release that rising government expenditure and capital investment were the major drivers of economic growth in the September quarter.

Household spending was flat in the September quarter, and the household saving ratio, which measures the total amount of net savings as a percentage of household income, fell for the eighth straight quarter to a 16-year low of 1.1 percent compared to a high of 24 percent in June 2020, Keenan said.

The fall was attributed to higher income tax bills for households in the 2022-23 financial year and cost of living pressures, Keenan said.

"Increased interest paid on home loans and inflationary pressure on households were also likely factors behind the fall in the household savings ratio," Keenan said.

Australia's central bank, the Reserve Bank of Australia, on Tuesday decided to keep interest rates on hold at 4.35 percent at its last meeting of 2023. Enditem

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