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Australia's Leading Index Falls In September

Australia's leading index that indicates the likely pace of future economic activity weakened further in September, the Westpac reported Wednesday.

The Westpac- Melbourne Institute leading index dropped to -0.92 percent from -0.24 percent in August.

The index suggested that the growth through the first half of 2020 is likely to remain below trend. Westpac forecast overall growth of 2.4 percent for 2020. This was in contrast with the central bank's projection of 2.8 percent.

The leading index growth rate has deteriorated over the last six months from -0.56 percent in April.

The main components driving this shift was a further weakening in dwelling approvals, a deterioration in consumer sentiment, a sell-off in commodity prices, and slower growth in monthly hours worked.

The board of Reserve Bank of Australia next meets on November 5. Westpac expects the bank to hold the cash rate steady at that meeting.

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