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(Australian Associated Press)
REPORT CARD ON THE AUSTRALIAN ECONOMY – WHAT TO EXPECT
* Australia’s September quarter national accounts will be released on Wednesday by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
* The report is a gauge of the economic health of the nation. It updates key measures like consumer spending, business activity and growth – called Gross Domestic Product.
* The “headline” economic growth number is the most important and often has implications for interest rates and government and business outlooks.
* It’s primarily fed by the strength of household consumption, or spending, which accounts for about 60 per cent of the economy.
* Household spending is also a signal of consumer confidence and is keenly watched by Australia’s economic overseers – Treasury and Reserve Bank of Australia.
WHAT’S THE OUTLOOK FOR GROWTH?
* GDP is calculated on what Australia has earned, spent and produced during the survey period.
* The economy is expected to have expanded by around 0.6 per cent in the quarter, and by 3.3 per cent over the year ended September 30.
HOW’S IT BEEN LATELY?
* Pretty good, all things considering.
* In fact, Australia has recorded consecutive quarters of growth for a decade after a single blip in the aftermath of the 2008/09 global financial crisis.
* The last recession was in 1991. So Australia is now in its 27th year of economic expansion.
* The previous mining boom certainly helped and the current upturn in the sector is lending support again today.
WHY SHOULD WE CARE?
* A strong economy means better job opportunities and wages.
* An annual rate of around three per cent is seen as providing a solid base for sustained employment growth.
SOME OF THE CONTRIBUTORS TO GDP ARE:
* Retail spending
* Construction work, including residential construction
* Business investment
* Company profits
* Business inventories, which is the stock being held on shelves and in warehouses
* Wages and salaries
* Government spending
* Net exports, or exports minus imports