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September quarter national accounts

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The Treasurer, Mr Howard, said today that the preliminary

September quarter national accounts provided further confirmation

that the Government's economic policies were producing the right

results. . . · . .

The recovery in economic activity continues to strengthen and the

dramatic reduction in. the rate of inflation has been further

consolidated. , · · : . ‘ ·

The rise .of 1.2 per cent in the September quarter-*-and 2.1 per cent

over ithe half-year to September--in..real non-farm product indicated -

that recovery was gathering pace.

A most significant feature of the figures.was the continued

strengthening in the real balance on external account. . -

Exports of goods and services had risen by 2.7 per cent in the

half-year to September, following a fall of 2.4 per cent in the ;

previous half-year; imports, meanwhile, had fallen by 4.1 per cent

in the half-year to September following a rise of 6.9 per cent in

the' previous half-year. . .

The benefits of devaluation are now clearly showing up. - _

Private consumption expenditure had recorded a rise of 1.9 per cent

in the September quarter, a substantial strengthening on. the .

increase of 0.3 per cent in the previous quarter. "

While there was a fall-off in dwelling investment of 5.8 per cent

in the September quarter, the strengthening in loan approvals and

local government building approvals over recent months would soon : -

feed through.i© a corresponding-©fcafengthoraiisg in'dwelling gosmnene®- . -

merits and work done. . . . . .

• ·. λ , a . " · . . ‘ ‘ ' ; · _ : · · ·

Other building and construction investment had recorded particularly

strong growth of 12.2 per cent in the September quarter and, looking

ahead, investment anticipation surveys for the current half-year

indicated that further strong growth could be expected in private

investment in the Decembe .7 quarter and further into 1978.

The rise in real non-farm product in the September quarter is all

the more striking in view of the fact that non-farm stock building.

was much smaller ih the September quarter than the June quarter.

As to what the figures indicated about the inflation trend9

Mr Howard said that the rise of 2.2 per cent in the gross non-farm

product deflator and the rise of 1.5 per cent in>the personal

consumption deflator in the September quarter were consistent with-

the earlier evidence of the consumer price index =

The increase of ‘8.9. per cent in the non-farm product deflator

over the year to the September quarter confirmed what the Government

had been saying about the significant moderation in the-rate of

inflation which had been achieved since it came to office.

Taken together, the favourable outcomes on both the price and

activity fronts in the September quarter showed"the real economic

progress which was now being achieved.


1 DECEMBER 1 9 7 7