Official data showed that Australian GDP had grown by 0.6 per cent in the final quarter of last year, compared to market expectations a third lower. It represented growth of three per cent on the last three months of 2014.
Despite the continuing global slump in commodity prices affecting Australia’s crucial mining and oil industries, household consumption, construction and public spending proved the main drivers behind the nation’s improving economy.
“Given Australia is going through the biggest mining pullback in our lifetimes, this is a pretty good outcome,” said David de Garis, a senior economist at National Australia Bank.
Karishma Vaswani, the BBC’s Asia business correspondent, added, “There’s no denying that as mines have closed, jobs have been lost and that’s putting pressure on the government to find new avenues of growth – but don’t forget Australia is already a highly diversified economy.
“Services like tourism, finance, business, technology and education are major components of Australia’s economy and they’ve benefited from a weaker Australian dollar. The agriculture sector is also seeing renewed interest.”
The news about China, however, was not so encouraging, according to Moody’s. While reaffirming the nation’s current debt rating, the agency warned that reforms were needed to avoid a downgrade amid expectations that China’s fiscal strength would continue to decline.
“Without credible and efficient reforms, China’s GDP growth would slow more markedly as a high debt burden dampens business investment and demographics turn increasingly unfavourable,” Moody’s said.
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