Asia and Pacific

Australian GDP, still growing – December 2012 quarter released

Monday March 11, 2013 Hugh Dixon

The Australian GDP grew by 0.6 percent for the December quarter of 2012. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) on the 6th March 2013 released their data on the real Australian GDP growth.  This comes after a September quarter in 2012 which experienced GDP growth of 0.7 percent.

 

Compared to the December quarter in 2011, seasonally adjusted GDP has grown by 3.1 percent over the 2012 year.  This is a strong annual growth performance by the Australian economy, in comparison New Zealand GDP grew by 2.5 percent for the year to September 2012, the latest quarter available.

 

 

There is evidence though, that the performance of the Australian economy is slowing, with GDP growth for the last three quarters averaging 0.6 percent, down from the 1.2 percent growth seen in the March 2012 quarter. If this trend continues then we will see annual Australian GDP growth drop to 2.5 percent growth in March 2013.

 

The strongest contributors to the December quarter growth came from the manufacturing sector which grew by 2.1 percent, the financial and insurance services sector grew by 1.3 percent, and the health care and social assistance sector grew by 1.8 percent. The weakest performances from this quarter came from the oil and gas extraction sector which dropped by 1.7 percent, as well as the information media and telecommunications sector which fell by 1.2 percent.

 

Expanding this analysis to examine the strongest and weakest contributors over the year, revealed that the strongest were the financial and insurance services with 4.7 percent growth, the health care and social assistance sector with 7.0 percent growth, and the oil and gas extraction sector with 20 percent growth.  While the weakest performances come from the agriculture sector which dropped by 9.5 percent, followed by other services sector which dropped by 6.2 percent, and the information media and telecommunications sector which dropped by 2.7 percent.

 

This showed that over the last year the main sectors driving the growth in Australia’s GDP were its services sectors, with the financial and insurances services, and the health care and social assistance leading the way.  The oil and gas extraction sector has also performed well over the year, however, if the drop seen in the December 2012 quarter is repeated in the March 2013 quarter it will have a negative impact on the overall growth figures.