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SA economy retreats: official figures


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South Australia’s economy contracted in the final quarter of 2013, official figures show.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) National Accounts figures released today show State Final Demand in SA contracted by -1.0 per cent on a seasonally adjusted basis, and retreated into stagnant territory (0.0 per cent) on trend figures.

Nationally, the picture was better as Australia’s economy grew by 0.8 per cent in the December quarter, slightly above expectations.

Gross domestic product (GDP) growth through 2013 was 2.8 per cent, in seasonally adjusted terms, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) said on Wednesday.

South Australia’s economic growth ended 2013 at less than half that figure – 1.3 per cent.

The figure places SA’s economic activity below that forecast in the May 2013 Budget and Mid Year Budget Review of early December.

Today’s data was the second last set of official figures expected before the state election on March 15.

Unemployment figures for February will complete the picture.

In its commentary on the figures today the ABS said that in trend terms, growth during the December quarter was strongest for the Northern Territory (3.7%), followed by Western Australia and Tasmania both recording growth of 0.7%.

“Growth in South Australia was flat,” it said.

“In the area of household final consumption expenditure growth ranged from 0.3% in South Australia to 0.9% in New South Wales.

“Government final consumption expenditure showed growth ranged from flat in South Australia and Tasmania to 0.7% in Northern Territory.”

Reacting to the better-than-expected national figures the Australian dollar rose by more than a third of a US cent.

Just before midday the Australia dollar was worth 89.92 US cents, up from 89.56 US cents just before the data was released.



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