Sep 2, 1:46 AM EDT

Australian economy grows by sluggish 0.2 percent in June quarter and 2 percent for year

Buy AP Photo Reprints
A district summary of the Beige Book
Measuring economic stress by county nationwide
Mall malaise: shoppers browse, but don't buy
Unemployment by the numbers
Family struggles with father's unemployment
Saying an affordable goodbye
Hard times hit small car dealer
Latest Economic News
US unemployment rate falls to 7-year low, yet modest hiring clouds picture for Fed rate hike

Jobs aplenty in health care and restaurants while manufacturing sheds workers

Unemployment rate for workers in early 20s drops to lowest level since April 2008

German factory orders drop in July more than expected, dragged down by flagging foreign demand

China's stock market rescue jolts companies, economic reform plans

As global uncertainty grows, ECB chief Draghi says more stimulus possible for eurozone

US services companies expand at healthy pace in August, driven by robust sales and new orders

The Latest: ECB's Draghi says 2 pct inflation aim must stand despite period of low price gains

IMF: China slowdown, tumbling commodity prices and market jitters pose risks to world economy

Australian economy grows by sluggish 0.2 percent in June quarter and 2 percent for year

Greece's Debt Threatens to Spread
State budget
gaps map
Auto industry problems trickle down, punish Tennessee county
Women give old Derby hats a makeover in tough economy
S.C. town deals with highest unemployment in South
How mortgages were bundled and sold as securities
Tracking the $700 billion financial bailout
Tracking the year's job losses
State-by-state foreclosures since 2007
Credit crisis explained
Presidents and their economic legacies
Lexicon of the financial crisis
Americans' addiction to debt
Australia's Relationship with its Aborigines

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) -- Australia's economy grew a slower-than-expected 0.2 percent in the three months through June, dragged down by waning Chinese demand for resources including iron ore and coal, government figures showed Wednesday.

Economists had forecast 0.4 percent growth in the April-June quarter. Australia's resource-based economy grew by 0.9 percent in the January-March quarter.

But latest Australian Bureau of Statistics data showed the slowest quarterly growth since the first quarter of 2013. Annual growth for the year through June was 2.0 percent, well below Australia's long-term average of 3.2 percent.

Treasurer Joe Hockey says the latest figures show that the Australian economy is resilient because other resource-reliant economies including Canada and Brazil are now in recession.

"The transition away from a reliance on mining investment is well underway," Hockey told reporters. "Quite clearly there is resilience in the Australian economy that other economies that have huge exposure to commodity prices could only wish for."

The Australian economy has entered its 25th year of continuous growth, although falls in prices for iron ore and coal, which are the nation's biggest exports, have dented growth rates in the past few years.

Government data released on Tuesday showed that Australia's trade deficit increased by 41 percent in the June quarter to 19 billion Australian dollars ($13.3 billion).

Hockey said a slowdown in mine construction was being offset by increases in the building and services industries.

He said 3.7 percent annual economic growth in the June quarter in the United States, Australia's third largest trading partner, left Australia "relatively well positioned for any unexpected weakness in China," Australia's largest trading partner.

The Australian dollar twice dropped below 70 U.S. cents on Wednesday, once before and once after the growth data was announced. The Australian currency had not fallen below 70 U.S. cents since 2009.

The first fall on Wednesday was as a response to weak manufacturing data from China. Australia's benchmark interest rate has been at a record low 2 percent since May.

The government halved its forecast price for iron ore from $96 a metric ton in 2014-15 to $48 in the current fiscal year which began on July 1. The price peaked at $185 in 2011.


This story has been corrected to show that the 2.0 percent growth rate is for the 12 months through June not March.

© 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.