Australian economy reports 2.5% growth

5 June 2013

Australia's growth in the first quarter of 2013 was lower than was originally forecast as a fall in investment offset gains in exports and consumer spending.

It expanded at an annual rate of 2.5 per cent in the first three months of the year, which is good compared to the previous three months where growth was just 0.6 per cent.

However, the majority of analysts had estimated the nation's annual growth rate would be closer to 2.7 per cent.

The weaker than expected growth will fuel the calls for a reduction in interest rates, but the country's central bank left its benchmark rate unchanged at a record-low of 2.75 per cent earlier this week.

Australia has enjoyed healthy growth in recent years, as demand for its natural resources soared. However, this demand has declined in recent months after a slowdown in key markets such as China.

By Tony Aynsley

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