Wednesday 1st June 2016 - 2:47 pm

So what happened?

by Alan Thornhill

Analysis

That was quite a trick.

The Australian economy grew by 1.1 per cent in the first three months of this year.

And by 3.1 per cent over the year to the end of March.

What is particularly remarkable about these seasonally adjusted figures, produced by the Statistician today is that this growth, which was boosted by our exports, was achieved, as the prices we were getting for them were falling.

Quite sharply, in fact.

Indeed the Statistician also reports that our terms of trade dropped by 11.5 per cent over the year, including a 1.9 per cent fall in the March quarter itself.

So how did we do it?

Overwhelmingly, by selling quite a lot more of the stuff that we do produce well.

Mining products, for example.

The Bureau notes that their value rose by 6.2 per cent in the quarter.

And our household consumption spending rose by 0.4 percentage points in that time.

Impressive figures, certainly.

Especially for uncertain times, like the present.

But we shouldn’t read too much into them.

And they can bounce around quite around quite a bit.

So we shouldn’t be too surprised if we find our political leaders differing a little in their views of these developments.


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Alan Thornhill

Alan Thornhill is a parliamentary press gallery journalist.
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