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  • New data released from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows economic growth slowed over the March quarter
  • Gross domestic product (GDP) growth in Australia eased to 0.8 per cent, a fall from the previous 3.4 per cent recorded in the prior quarter
  • Household spending rose by 1.5 per cent and households lowered their savings to 11.4 per cent of their income
  • Imports surged 8.1 per cent due to increased demand for passenger cars and household electrical items
  • The ABS has warned volatility will continue in the June quarter national accounts, as global events reveal their impact

New data released from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows economic growth slowed over the March quarter, due to the Omicron COVID-19 variant and severe weather in the eastern states.

Gross domestic product (GDP) growth in Australia eased to 0.8 per cent, a fall from the previous 3.4 per cent recorded in the prior quarter.

However, this was above market expectations, which forecast growth of 0.6 per cent.

Despite the fall in economic activity, household spending rose by 1.5 per cent and households lowered their savings to 11.4 per cent of their income.

Nevertheless, the main factor weighing on GDP growth was imports, which surged 8.1 per cent due to increased demand for passenger cars and household electrical items.

Building activity also slowed as a shortage of materials, scarce skilled labour, and unfavourable weather conditions impacted the industry.

Meanwhile, consumer prices grew sharply by 2.1 per cent, in the fastest quarterly growth seen since 2000.

The mining industry managed to reap the rewards of higher prices, with profits rising 14.7 per cent on a national accounts basis.

Also benefitting from higher prices was Australia’s terms of trade, which climbed 5.9 per cent.

Looking ahead, the ABS has warned volatility will continue in the June quarter national accounts as global events reveal their impact.

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