Australia’s GDP Grows 0.6% in First Quarter

Australia’s economy expanded less than economists forecast last quarter as a decline in machinery and equipment investment offset a gain in household spending.

First-quarter gross domestic product advanced 0.6 percent from the previous three months, when it expanded at the same pace, a Bureau of Statistics report released in Sydney today showed. The result compared with the median of 25 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey for a 0.7 percent gain.

The Reserve Bank of Australia slashed borrowing costs by 2 percentage points over the past 20 months to 2.75 percent, joining global counterparts in embracing record-low interest rates. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said last week that the central bank should keep rates low as a high currency and fragile confidence inhibit growth needed to compensate for a mining slowdown.


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