Commodities Buzz: Australias mining exports drive GDP growth to 3.1 pct

Strong results in mining exports have led to significant growth in the Australian economy, according to the Bureau of Statistics (ABS). Australias economy is growing at an annual rate of 3.1 percent, up from 2.4 percent three months ago, the ABS reported late on Wednesday.

The strong start to 2018 marks a significant increase in the rate of growth in seasonally adjusted terms. Bureau figures indicate quickening growth in the March quarter was driven mostly by exports of mining commodities, in particular coal, iron ore and liquefied natural gas. Export growth accounts for half the increase in gross domestic product, government spending for about a third.

Some economists are not surprised by the increased growth, which they say aligns output growth with jobs growth, which was unsustainably high at 3.5 percent in 2017.In the past four quarters, Australias economy has grown by 1.01 percent (March), 0.54 percent (December 2017), 0.52 percent (September 2017), and 1.03 percent (June), bringing the annual growth rate to 3.1 percent.