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Australia Leading Index Sees Weak Growth : Westpac

A leading indicator of the Australian economy rose slightly in June, although it remained below trend for the fifth consecutive month, the results of a survey by Westpac and the Melbourne Institute showed Wednesday.

The Westpac-Melbourne Institute leading index for Australia rose 0.07 percent month-over-month to 98.20 in June from 98.13 in the previous month. The rate of increase was roughly the same as in the previous month. The index remained below trend for the fifth consecutive month and also below 100, which separates growth from stagnation.

The six month annualised deviations from trend growth, which reflects the likely pace of economic growth three to nine months into the future fell to -0.73 percent in June from -0.65 percent in May.

"The six month annualized growth rate of the index has now been growing below trend since February and it is indicating that the growth in the Australian economy can be expected to remain below trend for the rest of 2014 with limited momentum in to 2015", Bill Evans, chief economist at Westpac said.

The slight improvement in the leading index see in June was due to improvement in consumer sentiment expectations, U.S. industrial production, dwelling approvals and aggregate hours worked, while ASX 200, commodity prices, yield spread and unemployment expectations served as drags.

by RTT Staff Writer

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