Australian economy grows faster than expected, lifts AUD

The Australian dollar rallied after the key 78 US cents level on Wednesday after better-than-expected GDP data, indicating the Australian economy grew by 0.9 per cent in the March quarter.

The main catalyst behind the rise in growth was a jump in mining export volumes and a build-up in producer and retail stock offset weak business investment.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Wednesday that gross domestic product expanded 0.9 per cent in the three months to the end of March, compared with 0.5 per cent in the preceding quarter.

Year-on-year growth, however, came in at 2.3 per cent, compared with 2.5 per cent at the end of December.
The drop here reflected a particularly strong March quarter last year.

Wednesday’s figures were higher than recently revised expectations of 0.7 or 0.8 per cent, after surprisingly good export and inventory data this week, and the Australia dollar spiked about half a US cent to US78.10¢. It later settled at just under US78¢.

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