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Andrew Hanlan, analyst at Westpac, suggests that the Australian National Accounts, to be released on Wednesday March 6, will provide an estimate of economic activity for the December quarter and they are expecting that for the December quarter, Australian real GDP will grow by 0.2%, slowing annual growth to 2.4%.

Key Quotes

“The partials suggest / reveal that: retail sales stalled (+0.1%, including a -1.1% for NSW); construction activity declined sharply, -3.1% (a sizeable fall in housing, sharp drop in public works and softness in business); and exports likely stalled (dented by rural goods reflecting the ongoing drought).”

“National income is a point of strength and the December quarter was a positive one. Commodity prices moved higher and the terms of trade increased by 2.5%qtr, 5.5%yr we estimate. Nominal GDP growth is a forecast 1.0%qtr, 5.4%yr.”

“For 2019, we expect GDP growth to be around 2.2%, with: consumer spending sluggish; home building activity contracting sharply; business equipment spending weak (in part due to uncertainty around the Federal election); but strength in government demand and a positive contribution from net exports, led by LNG (additional capacity) and services (strong demand from the Asian region and supported by the low Australian dollar).”