Arab Today, arab today australia notches 10 percent quarterly growth
Last Updated : GMT 09:05:21
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Australia notches 1.0 percent quarterly growth

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Arab Today, arab today Australia notches 1.0 percent quarterly growth

Sydney - AFP

Australia\'s mining-powered economy grew 1.0 percent during the September quarter in a result hailed by the government on Wednesday as \"exceptional\" given the ongoing global turmoil. The Australian Bureau of Statistics said mining and construction underpinned the robust performance, which represented on-year growth of 2.5 percent and followed upwardly revised growth of 1.4 percent for the three months to June. Economists had expected gross domestic product to rise 0.8-1.0 percent in the quarter and 1.9-2.1 percent from a year earlier. Construction contributed 0.4 percentage points and mining 0.3 points to GDP growth, which was slightly offset by growing imports and running down of inventories. \"Today\'s national accounts showing the Australian economy grew strongly in the September quarter are an exceptional result at a time of heightened global instability, turmoil in Europe and slowing global growth,\" said Treasurer Wayne Swan. The Australian dollar jumped to 102.72 US cents after the announcement, from 102.43 US cents immediately before. Swan said growth was underpinned by a 12.7 percent \"surge\" in business investment in the quarter and above-trend household consumption despite the hit to confidence from debt woes in Europe and the United States. A jump in car sales as Japan\'s auto sector recovered from March\'s earthquake and tsunami accounted for a large part of the consumer spending. New engineering construction leapt 31.0 percent in the quarter to be more than 50 percent higher year-on-year -- its strongest annual growth in about 30 years. \"While much of the increase was in the resources sector there was also a healthy increase in manufacturing investment,\" Swan added. \"These figures are a resounding vote of confidence in our economy at a time when many advanced economies are struggling to grow at all, and face increasingly fragile economic positions with very high unemployment.\" But analysts warned of continued softness in industries such as tourism and manufacturing due to the meteoric Aussie dollar, which has traded near or above parity with the greenback for more than a year. \"It\'s pretty clear that the two-speed or three-speed economy is being represented,\" said CommSec economist Craig James. \"Areas like construction, particularly the engineering variety, are doing very well together with mining, but then you\'ve got some of the more domestically focused areas of the economy and the services sectors which are relatively soft.\" HSBC\'s Paul Bloxham said growth was expected to rally further, with northern Australia\'s flood and cyclone-hit coal mines yet to fully recover and reconstruction from the wild weather not yet at full pace. Australia\'s economy contracted 0.9 percent in the first three months of 2011 after a series of natural disasters hammered key mining and farming areas. Aside from mining and recovery-related spending, Bloxham said the economy was \"tracking at a bit below trend,\" and global prospects were gloomy. \"We expect that the mining investment boom will continue to support solid growth, but the concern is that offshore risks have grown substantially,\" he said. Australia\'s central bank slashed interest rates for a second consecutive month this week to 4.25 percent, saying the slowing global economy continued to pose risks.

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