Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Australia's Economy Grows at Slowest Pace in a Year

Australia's economy grew at the slowest pace in more than a year in the fourth quarter as construction declined and bottlenecks at ports cut exports.

Gross domestic product rose 0.6 percent from the third quarter, when it increased a revised 1.1 percent, the Bureau of Statistics said in Sydney today. The gain matched the median estimate of 24 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. The $1 trillion economy grew 3.9 percent from a year earlier.

A slowdown in Australia's economy, now in its 17th year of expansion, plus the potential fallout from the global credit crisis, gives the central bank scope to delay further interest-rate increases after raising borrowing costs to a 12-year high yesterday to stem inflation. Today's report showed imports surged as the lowest unemployment in more than three decades spurred spending.

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