Exports boost GDP but hardship looms
Exports boost GDP but hardship looms

Surging exports boosted the national economy through the final three months of 2012 but there are signs WA faces a tough period ahead.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics reported this morning that the national economy grew by 0.8 per cent through the December quarter.

It gave the country an annual growth rate of 2.8 per cent.

Both figures were slightly above market expectations.

The lift in exports, being driven by the mining sector, contributed 0.6 percentage points of growth.

There were also gains from final consumer spending, gross fixed capital formation and changes in business inventories.

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The main offset was a 0.5 percentage point detraction caused by a drop in private gross fixed capital formation.

Manufacturing actually contributed more to overall growth through the quarter than mining.

But the she slowdown in WA, which is feeding through to higher unemployment, is also evident in the figures.

Gross State final demand fell by 0.1 per cent in the quarter for WA to be down 2.7 per cent over the full year.

WA is now suffering the biggest declines of any State or Territory.

On a positive note, gross profits lifted for the second consecutive quarter.

There are also signs that consumers may be becoming more confident with the household saving ratio falling below the 10 per cent point.

While there was a fall in productivity measures, particularly in terms of hours worked, actual real unit labour costs fell.

The West Australian

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