Finance

WA economy rebounds to record best growth in two years

WA economy rebounds to record best growth in two years

The Australian economy expanded at a slower-than-expected rate in the three months to September, however WA's domestic economy appears to be on the mend, growing 0.9 per cent for the quarter.

The improved annual growth figure was assisted by the negative September quarter data from past year dropping out, and it takes Australia close to what would be considered average levels of economic expansion.

The growth is worse than market expectations for the economy to grow by 0.7 per cent in the quarter and 3.0 per cent over the 12 months to September 2017.

He noted household consumption was "soft", but October saw some improved retail figures.

The Australian dollar slid about a quarter of a USA cent as market participants essentially lowered their expectations that Australia's central bank-already in a lengthy holding pattern-will take action on interest rates anytime soon.

Corporate sentiment is high, buoyed by strengthening global growth and robust exports, contributing to a jump in private investment over the quarter.

Continuing its record-breaking streak of uninterrupted economic growth, Australia has posted modest growth in the first quarter of the new financial year.

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Treasurer Scott Morrison welcomed the acceleration in on-year growth, focusing on the jump in company spending.

"This is predominantly driven by the increasing level of employment and in particular, full employment".

The ABS observed that 17 out of 20 industry sectors recorded growth this quarter, with professional, scientific and technical services leading the way, along with health care and social assistance, and manufacturing.

Households, however, delivered only a small amount of growth in a sign of the struggles some families are having on the back of low wages growth. A longer-term analysis of the changing drivers of the economy, from an industry perspective, is provided in a feature article included in this quarter's publication.

"The big concern is whether households, the engine of the economy, accept that expectations of a lift in wages growth are unjustified and it becomes necessary to adjust spending to a lower income outlook", he said.

The biggest fall in the September quarter was in agriculture, forestry and fishing, which declined by 4.1 per cent. That view looks too optimistic, Mr. Evans said.


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