The Australian economy grew by a lower than expected rate during the June quarter, according to the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
The figures show GDP in the quarter rose by a seasonally adjusted 0.6%. On an annual basis, the economy grew by 3.7%.
But economists had been expecting a 0.8% increase.
Household consumption expenditure rose 0.8%, while total investment in dwellings fell by 1.7% to be down 6.7% for the year.
Total gross fixed capital formation rose 1%, and domestic final demand rose 0.9%.
Farm GDP in chain volume measures rose 0.4% in the quarter to be up 7% in the year to June.
Services sector contracts in August
The Australian services sector contracted for the seventh consecutive month in August, according to the latest results of the Australian Industry Group-Commonwealth Bank Australian Performance of Services Index.
The index fell 4.1 points to 42.4, below the 50-point level separating expansion from contraction.
“Both sales and new orders slumped sharply in August despite widespread discounting,” AIG chief executive Innes Willox said in a statement.
“With wages and other input costs rising, it is not surprising that employment in the sector continued to ease.”
Shares drop on weak offshore leads
The Australian sharemarket has dropped today following weaker than expected GDP figures and a soft offshore lead.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 40 points or 0.9% to 4263, while the Australian dollar fell to $US1.02.
In the United States, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 54 points or 0.42% to 13,035.94.
NAB online banking system goes down
NAB’s online banking system has gone out of order.
While many of the banks’ online systems have gone down in the past, NAB has suffered significant delays and is the focus of more attention due to a major breakdown in late 2010.
The outage started around 07.00 AEST, and was still down at 12.00 AEST.
The bank has said it is investigating the disruption.