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GDP disappointing but not unexpected – Ai Group comment

"The fall in national GDP by 0.5 per cent in the September quarter is disappointing but not unexpected. It highlights the need to focus on moving the economy in directions that diversify the sources of activity and employment," Ai Group Chief Executive, Innes Willox, said today.

"In the September quarter the ongoing retreat from the mining investment boom was met with the unwinding of the residential construction surge that has characterised much of the past couple of years. This, together with a sharp reversal of public sector investment dragged GDP into negative territory.

"There are tentative signs that the December quarter will be better than the September quarter. These include the move of the Australian PMI® and Australian PSI® into positive territory in October and November after both indexes pointed to a slump in activity over the July, August and September period.

"While no cause for panic, the turndown in GDP is a timely reminder of the need to gear Australia's economic policy towards measures that will lift business investment and employment opportunities. As a nation we need to cultivate sources of growth that move us away from an excessive reliance on commodity export and that take advantage of opportunities in supplying services and manufactured goods to global growth markets. An important dimension of this medium-to-longer-term strategy is to unleash a new phase of investment in productivity-enhancing infrastructure," Mr Willox said.

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