Wednesday, June 6

GDP: what a mixed story

The headline GDP growth story is fantastic: 4.3 per cent growth through the year. Wow! Break out the party, the economy is back on track to a stunning recovery.

But the growth in nominal GDP is less compelling.

In current prices, in nominal terms, the economy is barely growing. Why is it so?

Real GDP is growing fast because inflation across the economy has come to an end. So we are in the second quarter of deflation with a booming economy. Really?

Another explanatory factor is the difference in state outcomes. The mining states are booming (real growth in WA and the NT is around 15 per cent)! But the non-mining states are in the doldrums. The headline growth figure is not the experience of the majority of the Australian population.

Today's figures tell a very mixed story. They will need more considered analysis than these first thoughts, but I remain to be convinced it is unalloyed good news.

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