The Australian economy is growing at an annual pace close to the projected long-term trend, according to a survey released on Wednesday by Westpac Banking Corporation and the Melbourne Institute. The annualized growth rate of the WestpacMelbourne Institute Leading Index, which indicates the likely pace of economic activity three to nine months into the future, was 3.3 percent in September, basically in line with its long term trend of 3.2 percent, Westpac said. Westpac chief economist Bill Evans said the growth rate in the Index slowed from the 4.5 percent in August and was close to its long term trend. \"It appears that the boost to above trend growth we saw in July and August has now faded and the \"around trend\" story which has been generally the case since the beginning of 2011 is now appropriate,\" he said in a statement on Wednesday. Evans said recent official national accounts data had imposed a degree of volatility on the index. \"Accordingly it is too early to embrace the current signal from the leading index that growth will surge above trend in early 2012, \" Evans said.