Finance Finance News Treasurer says growth figures point to confidence

Treasurer says growth figures point to confidence

Scott Morrison
The treasurer Scott Morrison says Australians are backing themselves. Photo: AAP
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Treasurer Scott Morrison says new growth figures show the resilience of Australia’s economy.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics reported on Wednesday the economy grew by 0.4 per cent in the final three months of 2017, partly reflecting a downturn in exports during the quarter, and growth of 2.4 per cent for the year.

“Australians (are) backing themselves, getting jobs, spending more and investing more, particularly where it matters in our economy … (but) we are not immune to what happens in the rest of the world,” Mr Morrison told reporters in Canberra on Wednesday.

He said the 0.4 per cent figure was on track with the government’s mid-year outlook for growth.

“We remain very comfortable with what we said at the end of last year, based on what we’ve seen in today’s national accounts data,” Mr Morrison said.

One of the drivers of improved consumption growth over the quarter was the Rugby League World Cup held in October and November, which was a boon for accommodation and bars.

However, he said there was also underlying confidence among businesses.

“Businesses are enjoying some of the best conditions they’ve seen on record,” he said.

“Treasury estimates that non-mining investment in the quarter was up 2.1 per cent (in the quarter), up to a staggering 12.4 per cent growth in non-mining investment through the year.”

Exports were falling but this was a product of coming off a bumper crop and the final stages of the shut-down of local car making, Mr Morrison said.