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Australia national accounts – economic growth slumps to below 1 per cent annualised – unemployment on the rise

The Australian Bureau of Statistics released the latest – Australian National Accounts: National Income, Expenditure and Product, March 2023 – today (March 1, 2023), which shows that the Australian economy grew by just 0.2 per cent in the March-quarter 2023 and by 2.3 per cent over the 12 months. If we extend the March result out over the year then GDP will grow by 0.8 per cent, well below the rate required to keep unemployment from rising. Working hours dropped in the March-quarter and I expect that trend to accelerate in the coming quarters given the conduct of the central bank and treasury. The March-quarter result represents a significant decline in growth, Households cut back further on consumption expenditure while at the same time saving less relative to their disposable income in an effort to maintain consumption growth in the face of rising interest rates and temporary inflationary pressures. I expect growth to decline further and we will be left with rising unemployment and declining household wealth as a result of the RBA’s poor judgement.

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