Australian economic growth reaches a minimum in 10 years

SYDNEY: The Australian economy has registered its weakest annual growth in a decade, according to official data published on Wednesday, which expanded only 1.4 percent in the year to June.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics reported that the economy grew 0.4 percent between April and June compared to the previous quarter, a small increase driven by mining exports and public spending. The external sector boosted GDP growth this quarter, while the growth of the national economy remains stable, said chief economist Bruce Hockman.

Australia has avoided the recession for almost 28 years, but Wednesday's figures will stoke concerns about economic outlook with growth falling to its lowest levels since the global financial crisis in 2009.

The central bank kept the main interest rate at a record low of 1.00 percent on Tuesday due to moderate consumer spending and a drop in the real estate market.

Analysts believe that the bank could further reduce rates in the coming months to help boost the economy.

It is reasonable to expect a prolonged period of low interest rates to be required, said the head of the Reserve Bank of Australia, Philip Lowe.

But Prime Minister Scott Morrison was optimistic about weak data, and told local radio on Wednesday he was confident that recent tax cuts would stimulate the economy in the current quarter.

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