GDP data matches expectations in December quarter: Midday roundup

New GDP figures indicate Australia’s economy grew by 0.6% last quarter, matching analysts’ expectations.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics released the data this morning found the growth for the quarter was driven by a 1.1% contribution from public investment and a 0.6% contribution from net exports.

The mining, manufacturing, health and finance industries drove the December quarter, with each industry contributing 0.1% to the increase in GDP.

Despite the increase in GDP, the terms of trade fell 2.7% in the quarter and private investments decreased by 1%.

Shares higher as Wall Street reaches new record

The Australian sharemarket has opened to its highest point since 2008 this morning, after a solid day of trading in the United States pushed the Dow Jones to a new all-time record.

This morning the S&P/ASX200 was up 53.8 points or 1% to 5129.2, which is the highest point since the onset of the global financial crisis.

This comes just after the Dow Jones Industrial Average eclipsed the previous record set in 2007, rising 126 points or 0.9% to 14,253.8.

US politicians prepare for the budget deadline, hope to avoid shutdown

Democrats and Republicans are hopeful they will be able to fund a bill which averts a US government shutdown at the end of March.

House Speaker John Boehner is holding a vote this week on legislation which is expected to form the basis of an agreement.

“Spending is the problem here in Washington and our goal is to cut spending, not to shut the government down,” Boehner told reporters.

White House representatives have also said President Barack Obama has recently called several Republican lawmakers pushing for a deal.

March 27 is the deadline for the budget and Obama has said the $US85 billion of budget cuts will “eventually” hit hard.



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