Treasurer Jim Chalmers said today’s National Accounts numbers show economic growth is slowing as expected, and there are growing economic challenges as we move deeper into 2023.
“This is the inevitable consequence of global challenges. High inflation and rising interest rates. These numbers tell the story of 2022. And we know that 2023 will be a different story,” he said.
“The global economy is even more unpredictable. The war in Ukraine is deep-rooted and interest rates are pressing harder and harder on our people.”
“We knew that growth would start to slow down around now, and it has. We knew that 2023 would be a challenging year for the economy. And we still expect that.”
Despite those challenges, Chalmers said the economy was still growing — 0.5 percent in the December quarter of last year and 2.7 percent for the full year.
“This is faster growth than all major advanced economies, and it is more than twice the growth rate of the OECD average,” he said.
But Chalmers said in an unfortunate sign of the times, Australians were still under extreme pressure despite the positive numbers.
“It is a sign of the times that even in one of the world’s best economies, people are still struggling under the weight of a global recession, high inflation and rising interest rates,” he said.
There was a lot of evidence about the impact of rising interest rates on Australians across the country, he said.
The treasurer said new figures show consumption growth slowed to 0.3 percent in the quarter and was 5.4 percent higher than the year.
“Households have continued to pull back on discretionary spending on goods in favor of services, while Australians are looking to get out and about and travel around the country more. With continued pressure on family budgets, we see households saving less of their income.”