Australian economy bucks recession
Australia's economy grew at its fastest pace in nearly two years in the fourth quarter of the year, helped by a government stimulus package and Chinese demand for its mineral exports.
The nation's gross domestic product rose a seasonally adjusted 0.9pc in the December quarter, after growing 0.3pc in the previous quarter, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said. That represents a rise of 2.7pc from a year earlier.
The figures come a day after Australia's central bank raised its key interest rate, the fourth increase since October, citing falling unemployment and business surveys that suggest the economy will continue to expand.
"To have grown the economy in what has been one of the toughest years since the 1930s is a truly remarkable feat and the stimulus is providing a firm foundation for the economy," Treasurer Wayne Swan said.
Australia has weathered the global economic downturn better than most developed countries, helped by a 42 billion Australian dollar (€29bn) stimulus package and demand for the iron ore and other minerals that Australia exports to nations like China, Japan, and South Korea.
"Essentially, the impact of the global financial crisis proved to be just a flesh wound on Australia's national activity," said Bob Cunneen, senior economist at AMP Capital Investors.