Higher export commodity prices have helped Australia post its smallest current account deficit since 2001.
The seasonally adjusted current account deficit fell $6.348 billion (62 per cent) to $3.853 billion in the December quarter 2016, data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows.
The Australian economy grew 1.1 per cent in the December quarter 2016, experiencing a rebound from the previous quarter’s decline of 0.5 per cent.
Minerals Council of Australia chief executive Brendan Pearson said that mining had accounted for 21.6 per cent of the growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the December quarter, making it the largest contributor to GDP growth for all industries,
“The ABS note that the improvement in economic growth was driven by strong prices for key commodity exports,” he said.
“The terms of trade grew by 9.1 per cent in the December quarter due to strong price rises, with the value of iron ore exports up 19 per cent compared to the September quarter, coal exports up 48 per cent and total value of minerals exports up 21 per cent over the same period.
“These price rebounds have resulted in the terms of trade rising 15.6 per cent since the December quarter 2015.”
Mr Pearson said the ABS data showed the Australian economy grew 2.4 per cent in 2016.
“Mining accounted for 14.4 per cent of GDP growth in 2016 and it was the second largest contributor to GDP growth behind financial services (15.9 per cent),” he said.
“While this is a positive result for the national economy, there is still a strong need for further reform to improve productivity that will create jobs, grow the economy and improve standards of living.”
Further details can be found in Australian National Accounts: National Income, Expenditure and Product (cat no. 5206.0), and Balance of Payments and International Investment Position, Australia (cat. no. 5302.0) available for download from http://www.abs.gov.au.