The Australian Bureau of Statistics reported a slowdown in the Australian economy in the first quarter to a ten-year low. Growth relative to the same period last year was 1.8% and coincided with the forecasts of experts. Compared with the previous quarter, GDP increased by 0.4% against the expected growth of 0.5% by economists. The main negative factors that caused the weakening of economic growth were low consumer spending and a slowdown in the global economy amid intensified trade disputes. Growth in consumer spending for the quarter slowed to 0.3% from 0.4%, and the savings rate rose to 2.8% from 2.6%. Government spending, mainly aimed at the implementation of social programs, increased by 0.8%. A 2.5% decrease in investment was recorded in the housing sector, while a decrease in capital investment in fixed assets was at the level of 0.7%. Exports increased by 1%, imports declined by 0.1%.
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