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Economy narrowly avoids negative growth

Staff Reporter 1 minute read

Australian economic growth buckled in the September quarter under the weight of 12 year high interest rates, a weakening sharemarket and deteriorating global conditions.

National accounts data released by the ABS yesterday showed the economy grew at just 0.1 per cent in the three months to September. Excluding strong output in the farm sector GDP would have fallen into negative territory.

Treasurer Wayne Swan said the result was positive “in the context of a rapidly deteriorating global environment”.

While the data precedes the intensification of the global financial crisis in recent weeks it also does not reflect the 300 basis point cash rate reduction and the government’s stimulus package.

Mr Swan indicated that the outlook for the following months remained uncertain.

“The global financial crisis continues to evolve in unpredictable ways and could have a long way to run. The Rudd government remains committed to taking whatever action is necessary to strengthen growth and limit the impact of the global recession on Australian jobs,” he said.

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