by Alan Thornhill
The Australian economy grew by 0.9 per cent in the December quarter and 2.7 per cent in 2009.
This followed a rise of 0.3 per cent in the previous quarter.
But growth of some 4 per cent is needed to absorb each year’s school leavers into the nation’s workforce,
Figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics today show that the Federal government’s stimulus package – reflected in a 10.2 per cent surge in government investment – was the main reason for the quarter’s relatively strong rise.
However private investment also rose by 3.5 per cent in the final three months of last year.
Household spending rose by 0.7 per cent.
A fall in Australia’s net exports, though, restricted growth in December quarter.
Import growth, of 7.7 per cent in that time, was far greater than the nation’s export growth of just 1.7 per cent.
Manufacturing surged by 5.1 per cent in the final three months of last year in seasonally adjusted volume terms, while wholesale trade rose 3.6 per cent .
Final consumption spending rose by 0.9 per cent in the quarter and 3.2 per cent over the year.
Australia’s terms of trade rose by 2.9 per cent in the final three months of last year.
But they were still down 11.2 per cent over the year.
The Bureau also reported that real net disposable income rose by 1.2 per cent in the December quarter.
However it was still 1.2 per cent over over the year.
New South Wales was the nation’s powerhouse last year, chalking up 5.2 per cent growth in State final demand.
That was exceeded only by the ACT, which saw 7.6 per cent growth on the same indicator.
Victoria saw 4 per cent growth, Queensland recorded a contraction of 1.1 per cent, South Australia chalked up 5 per cent growth, Western Australia 3.3 per cent, Tasmania contracted by 0.3 per cent and the Northern Territory experienced a 6.3 per cent contraction.
Alan Thornhill is a parliamentary press gallery journalist.
Private Briefing is updated daily with Australian personal finance news, analysis, and commentary.
Saturday May 25
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