The latest ABS figures reveal that gross domestic product (GDP) grew 1.3 per cent in the March quarter 2012 – significantly higher than the 0.6 per cent that many economists had predicted.
The industries that drove growth in the March quarter were mining, professional, scientific and technical services, and financial and insurance services – all of which contributed 0.2 per cent to growth.
Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan labelled it a ‘remarkable outcome’ and said it highlighted Australia’s solid economic policy during global economic turbulence.
“These figures come at time when many advanced economies are struggling to grow at all, with a number of economies already in recession and suffering crippling levels of unemployment,” he said.
“Europe faces profound economic challenges and this continues to cast a shadow over the global outlook.”
Chief economist for the Housing Institute of Australia (HIA), Andrew Harvey, said the findings were encouraging.
“The good news is that consumers do seem to be spending again, the aggregate GDP growth figure should help confidence and yesterday’s interest rate cut will help underpin residential building going forward,” Mr Harvey said.
“However, there’s no doubt the challenges posed by the multi-speed economy will continue to see non-resource sectors face significant headwinds.”