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Australia Westpac Leading Index Signals Growth Slowdown

Australia's economy is likely to lose momentum amid rising interest rates, falling commodity prices and cooling labor market, Westpac said Wednesday.

The six-month annualized growth rate in the Westpac-Melbourne Institute Leading Index fell to -0.36 percent in August, from +0.49 percent in July.

The index signals the likely pace of economic activity relative to trend three to nine months into the future. The latest score pointed to a material loss in momentum to a below-trend pace.

This was the first negative print since the start of the year and the weakest since the delta lockdown hit in 2021.

Westpac expects the economic growth to slow to 0.6 percent in the December quarter from a robust 1.1 percent in the September quarter. Growth is projected to slow further in 2023, with a gain of just 1 percent over the full calendar year.

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