Stevens bemoans lack of ‘animal spirit’

After rapid expansion in the March quarter, June quarter gross domestic product growth is likely to have slowed considerably. "Economic growth was . . . clearly above trend in the March quarter," Mr Stevens said. "The quarterly result was, to a large extent, driven by a substantial increase in resource exports as new mining capacity came online and mining operations experienced fewer weather disruptions than usual. "Data for the June quarter suggest a ‘payback’ of lower exports, and also a period of more subdued consumer demand. "There are relatively few readings for the September quarter as yet, though at least some suggest that there may have been a reasonable start to the quarter," he said.

Speaking before the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics on Wednesday, Mr Stevens reiterated that the “animal spirits” needed to expand the stock of productive assets, which creates employment, were still lacking. “There are some encouraging signs here,” he said. “Nonetheless, if reports are to be believed, many businesses remain intent on sustaining a flow of dividends and returning capital to shareholders, and less focused on implementing plans for growth. “Any plans for growth that might be in the top drawer remain hostage to uncertainty about the future pace of demand. “That’s actually nothing new.

Read more here: SMH


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