Australian economy shows ‘weak’ growth

A sign outside a petrol station shows the price of petrol nearing two Australian dollars (1.46 USD) a litre mark in Melbourne on March 3, 2022. (Photo by William WEST / AFP)
SYDNEY, June 5, 2024 (AFP) – Australia’s resource-rich economy posted anaemic growth in the first quarter, official data showed Wednesday, deepening concerns about a double-whammy of low growth and still high prices.

Growth slowed to 0.1 percent in the quarter, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported, using seasonally adjusted data.

The economy had grown 0.3 percent in the last quarter of 2023.

Economists predict tepid growth — coupled with still-high inflation — will tie the Reserve Bank of Australia’s hands on any rate cuts or raises.

“Confirmation of ongoing weakness in growth is likely to see the RBA remain on hold,” said NAB economists, who predicted first-quarter growth would come in flat.

The Australia Bureau of Statistics said that per capita GDP continued to fall in the first quarter of the year — meaning Australians might feel worse off even if the economy is growing slightly.

“GDP per capita fell for the fifth quarter in a row due to weak economic growth and strong population growth,” the government agency said.