Australia GDP Adds 0.3% On Quarter In Q1

USD/JPY update (7th June 2017, 10:00)

Yet that growth allayed fears of an outright contraction and helped lift the local dollar a third of a USA cent to a one-month high of $0.7542.

Household consumption grew by 0.5 per cent in the March quarter, down from 0.9 per cent growth in the preceding three months, and exports fell 1.6 per cent in the quarter.

The economy defied the expectations of some analysts who anticipated weaker exports, the impact of Cyclone Debbie and government contributions would result in a negative quarter result. Final consumption expenditure grew at a seasonally adjusted 0.6%.

Investment in housing was also weak, down 4.4 per cent over the quarter, falling in every state except Victoria, to record the largest quarterly slump since the depth of the GFC in 2009.

Economists said the resources-rich nation's long stretch of expansion was supported by economic reforms in the 1980s and 1990s, such as the floating of the local currency, a flexible labour market, financial sector and capital markets deregulation and lower tariffs.

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Meanwhile, Reserve Bank Governor Philip Lowe said economic growth was still likely to increase gradually over the next years to a little above 3 percent.

On a yearly basis, GDP gained 1.7 percent - beating forecasts for 1.6 percent after climbing 2.4 percent in the three months prior.

"Consumer spending was quite soft in the quarter, business investment is still pretty soft, we still got mining investment contracting, not a lot of uptake in non-mining investment, public demand I think is down as well".

The CommSec chief economist said he maintains a positive outlook on the Australian economy, especially considering the many geopolitical events of the past year that could have led to negative results locally.

The Treasurer urged Labor, the Greens and Senate crossbench to "meet us in the middle" to pass economic reforms aimed at stimulating the economy.

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