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GDP growth disappoints again

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The Australian economy has again fallen below expectations, growing by just 0.4 per cent in the December quarter, compared to the expected figure of 0.7 per cent.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, that figure goes up to 0.5 per cent.

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This brings annual gross domestic product (GDP) to 2.3 per cent, or 2.5 per cent seasonally adjusted. That’s down from 2.7 per cent at the end of September.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the industries that did the heavy lifting were construction and healthcare and social assistance, each contributing 0.1 percentage points to the increase in GDP.

The main drags on the economy, meanwhile, were professional, scientific and technical services.

The terms of trade also fell by 1.7 per cent, meaning Australia is spending more money on importing goods than it is receiving for exported goods.

The terms of trade have fallen sharply over the last 12 months – by more than 10 percent – so the latest figures suggest things may be levelling out, probably thanks to the lower Aussie dollar making Australian products and services more attractive to overseas buyers.

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