Australia Q1 GDP up 2.3% However Concerns Remain

Australia’s economy expanded 2.3 percent in the first quarter from the year-ago period, beating forecasts and pushing up the currency, but some were concerned about the quality of the data.

“The surprise is probably that business investments didn’t fall [as much] as expected,” David Bassanese, chief economist at BetaShares, told CNBC. “Exports volumes surged in the quarter. Coal and iron ore exports were up. The downside is export prices are falling, and also inventories were a big contributor to the number so the quality of the number I think is not fantastic, particularly with consumer spending still being soft.”

The headline figure still beat forecasts from a Reuters poll for a 2.1 percent rise on-year, but it was down from the previous quarter’s 2.50 percent growth.  After the release of the data, the Australian dollar climbed 0.35 percent to $0.7794, from $0.7769 prior to the data. The S&P ASX 200 index remained in negative territory, down 0.6 percent.