Australian economy slows over March quarter


* Australia’s economy grew slightly by 0.1 per cent in the first three months of the year, less than the expected 0.2 per cent

* Annual gross domestic product rose 1.1 per cent, but it’s the lowest through-the-year growth since 1992, outside of the pandemic

* Inflation is easing, with the consumer price index rising one per cent in the March quarter, up 3.6 per cent compared to March quarter 2023 – marking the fifth consecutive quarter of lower inflation compared to the previous year

* The slowing economy is a consequence of interest rate increases as the central bank tries to tame inflation without pushing the economy into recession

* Overall, wages were up, with the wage price index rising 0.8 per cent in the quarter, hitting three consecutive quarters of being above four per cent compared to a year ago

* But people are spending more on essential services, with the average household’s spending on services like electricity and gas rising 0.4 per cent in the quarter, following a quarterly rise of 0.3 per cent in December

* As a result, households are saving less, with the average household only saving 0.9 per cent of their income through the quarter due to rising expenses

* Big spending on Taylor Swift and the Formula 1 at the start of the year shows that increasing costs aren’t stopping Australians doing the things they love, contributing to the hospitality, accommodation and recreation industries

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics


Bray Boland
(Australian Associated Press)


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