Australiaâ€™s economy slowed last quarter on weaker housing and rising imports, sending the local currency lower as traders bet the central bank will resume interest-rate cuts to prolong a 21-year expansion.
Second-quarter gross domestic product advanced 0.6 percent from the previous three months, when it rose a revised 1.4 percent, a Bureau of Statistics report released in Sydney today showed. The median of 26 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey of economists was for a 0.7 percent gain. From a year earlier, the economy expanded 3.7 percent, the strongest annual pace since 2007 after the revised 4.4 percent growth in the first quarter.
The report showed the fastest first-half expansion in five years before companies including BHP Billiton Ltd. scaled back mining projects this quarter in response to lower prices of iron ore, the nationâ€™s most valuable export. Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Glenn Stevens cut rates in May and June to buttress consumption as an elevated currency extended a slump in manufacturing and services.