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According to analysts at NAB, next Wednesday’s  Australian GDP figures are forecast to show the economy growing at reasonable rate of 0.8% q/q and 2.7% y/y, which suggests a pick-up in growth from the subdued outcome in Q4 which was driven by weak net exports and private investment.

Key Quotes

“The quarterly outcome will be driven by domestic demand and overall the data will continue to paint a picture of an economy where infrastructure spending is supporting growth and momentum in non-mining business investment continues to build, along with some support from consumption in recent quarters.”

The NAB Business Survey continues to suggest more balanced outcomes across states  with business conditions holding at above average levels in all states, albeit with WA having only improved recently. It is likely that broad-based growth across industries will become increasingly evident based on industry patterns in the survey.”

“While  inflation and wages measures in the data will be watched closely,  we do not anticipate any significant signs of a pick-up in wage inflation. The volatile national accounts measure of average earnings will likely remain subdued, in line with wage growth as measured by the WPI.”

“The  uncertainty around our forecasts  is largely centred on  consumption,  which despite facing a number of headwinds recorded a strong outcome in Q4 2017.”

Monetary policy implications: The bounce back in growth will see the economy moving closer towards the RBA’s current forecasts for the year. Any extra information that can be gleaned from the national accounts measures of wages and inflation will likely be a focus following the continued weakness in the WPI in March.

With the unemployment rate having held at around 5 ½% since August last year and little further evidence in the data of a significant pick-up in wage growth to date, it is unlikely that wage growth will reach a rate consistent with inflation around the mid-point of the RBA’s target in 2018. However, with growth continuing to rise over 2018 we expect a decline in the unemployment rate, and wage growth to accelerate to around 2 ½% by mid next year, giving the RBA confidence that inflation will move back towards the target band so that it can begin the gradual process of lifting rates from the current low levels. This is expected around the middle of next year.”