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Australian Economy Weakens But Other Signs Optimistic

But other data such as purchasing managers’ index and housing prices show signs that country’s economic recovery is gathering pace

The Australian economy is forecast to expand by a robust 4.5% this financial year, helped by surging migration. Photo: AFP


The Australian economy shrank in the three months to September, as coronavirus pandemic-related lockdowns weakened demand but rising vaccination rates offset some of the weakness.

Gross domestic product shrank by 1.9% compared with the previous quarter. Compared with the same period a year ago, the economy managed growth of 3.9%. The contraction followed four consecutive quarterly gross domestic product increases.

While the pandemic continues to stunt growth, sharply higher vaccination rates are offsetting some of the effects.

The emergence of the Omicron strain is a new threat but with 87% of the adult population now double-jabbed the government is determined to keep the economy open.


Recovery Signs

Other data released on Wednesday showed signs that the country’s economic recovery was gathering pace.

The IHS Markit manufacturing purchasing managers’ index came in at 59.2 earlier in the day, up from the previous month and well above the 50 threshold that separates expansion from contraction.

House prices also rose for the 14th consecutive month in November, according to data released by CoreLogic. The median house price in Australia has increased by A$126,700 over the past 12 months, the data showed.

“We expect GDP to surpass its pre-Delta peak this quarter already and to keep surprising to the upside next year,” Marcel Thieliant, a senior economist at Capital Economics, said. He predicted growth of 5% for 2021.

“With the household savings rate jumping to 19.8%, there’s enormous scope for consumption to recover over the coming quarters,” he added.


  • Reuters with additional editing by George Russell




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George Russell

George Russell is a freelance writer and editor based in Hong Kong who has lived in Asia since 1996. His work has been published in the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, New York Post, Variety, Forbes and the South China Morning Post.


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