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Australia GDP Climbs 1.0% On Quarter In Q1


Australia's gross domestic product gained a seasonally adjusted 1.0 percent on quarter in the first three months of 2018, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Wednesday.

That beat expectations for an increase of 0.8 percent following the 0.4 percent gain in the previous three months.

On a yearly basis, GDP expanded 3.1 percent - again beating forecasts for 2.8 percent and up from 2.4 percent in the three months prior.

Exports of goods and services contributed 0.5 percentage points to GDP growth.

"Growth in exports accounted for half the growth in GDP, and reflected strength in exports of mining commodities," ABS Chief Economist Bruce Hockman said.

Mining industry gross value added grew 2.9 percent during the quarter. Production of coal, iron ore and liquefied natural gas showed strong increases.

Private non-financial corporations profits increased 6.0 percent in the March quarter, the strongest increase in the past year.

"The rise in profits was consistent with the strong increase in mining exports coupled with a lift in the terms of trade this quarter," Hockman added.

Private investment contributed to GDP growth with continued strong investment in machinery and equipment and was particularly strong in the non-mining sector. Growth in the construction of new dwellings fell slightly, but the recent high levels continued, consistent with the number of building approvals observed in recent months.

General government final consumption expenditure increased 1.6 percent and was up 5.1 percent through the year. Public investment fell slightly but remained at elevated levels.

Household consumption grew 0.3 percent driven by rises in non-discretionary items and grew 2.9 percent through the year. The household savings ratio fell to 2.1 per cent and was at its lowest rate since December 2007. The savings ratio declined over the past decade but the rate of decline has moderated in the past 4 quarters.

Compensation of employees increased 1.2 percent, while gross operating surplus increased 4.0 percent and terms of trade rose 3.3 percent.

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