WA returns to growth as Australia avoids recession

Source: Business News

GDP has bounced back from a poor showing in the September quarter with December quarter seasonally adjusted growth of 1.1 per cent, while Western Australia snapped a five quarter streak of shrinking state demand to grow 0.4 per cent.

Annualised growth was 2.4 per cent nationally, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Further, the strong September performance was the best quarterly growth rate in five years, according to Commsec chief economist Craig James.

“The latest result highlights the shift in momentum that has taken place in the past few months,” Mr James said.

“The Australian economy is getting its mojo back, now it is up to policymakers to foster an environment that ensures businesses feel comfortable to lift investment levels.

“Exports, tourist arrivals, home prices, and car sales are at record highs.

“Unemployment is near three-and-a-half-year lows.

“Economy-wide sales are healthy, while there is a huge pipeline of home building to come.”

For WA, state final demand, which does not include exports, has fallen in 11 of the past 17 quarters, including five times in a row from September 2015 to September 2016.

December brought a better result, with private investment up 1.5 per cent to $12.7 billion in the three-month period, while public investment was 6 per cent higher at nearly $2.1 billion.

State final demand, or domestic spending, totalled $48.8 billion.”