Australian economy shows weak growth

Australian economy shows ‘weak’ growth

/ 11:09 AM June 05, 2024

Australian economy shows 'weak' growth

Shoppers make their way through the central business district on a rainy day in Sydney on May 10, 2024. (Photo by Saeed KHAN / AFP)

SYDNEY — Australia’s resource-rich economy posted anemic growth in the first quarter, official data showed Wednesday, extending concerns about a double-whammy of low growth and high prices.

Growth slowed to 0.1 percent in the quarter, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported, using seasonally adjusted data.


“Today’s national accounts confirm growth in the Australian economy was flat in the first three months of the year,” said Treasurer Jim Chalmers.


It was, he said, “another reminder of the pressures people are under.”

The statistics bureau said that per capita GDP continued to fall in the first quarter of the year — meaning Australians are worse off, even if the economy is growing slightly.

“GDP per capita fell for the fifth quarter in a row due to weak economic growth and strong population growth,” the government agency said.

The economy grew 0.3 percent in the last quarter of 2023.

Economists predict tepid growth — coupled with still-high inflation — will tie the Reserve Bank of Australia’s hands on any rate cuts or raises.

“Confirmation of ongoing weakness in growth is likely to see the RBA remain on hold,” said NAB economists, who predicted first-quarter growth would come in flat.


Facing mounting political pressure and a fast-looming election, Chalmers trained his rhetoric on the central bank — blaming monetary policymakers for the economy’s lacklustre performance.

“The primary cause of this very weak growth was higher interest rates, combined with moderating but persistent inflation and ongoing global uncertainty,” he claimed.

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TAGS: Australia, economy

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