The Courier-Mail

HOCKEY SAYS FIGURES COULD BE WORSE

- STEVEN SCOTT

JOE Hockey has defended Australia’s poorer-than-expected economic growth figures, saying at least we are not in recession like Canada or Brazil.

Australia’s economic growth slumped to just 0.2 per cent in the three months to June – half the 0.4 per cent figure predicted by economists – a significan­t decline after the March figures recorded a 0.9 per cent increase. The dollar slumped below US70 for the first time since 2009 after the figures were released but ended the day’s trading at US70.3 .

Mr Hockey said the growth figures were in line with Treasury’s forecasts and showed Australia was weathering a slump in commodity prices better than some.

“Today’s national accounts show the Australian economy is growing well despite the biggest fall in our terms of trade in more than 50 years,” Mr Hockey said.

“At a time when other commodityb­ased economies like Canada and Brazil are in recession, the Australian economy is continuing to grow at a rate that meets and sometimes beats our most recent Budget forecasts.”

The Treasurer said his Budget incentives for businesses to buy equipment would add further momentum to the Australian economy throughout the year.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said the economic growth figures were “gravely concerning”.

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