News Summary: Australia growth fastest since 2008

AP News
Posted: Jun 06, 2012 2:31 PM

LOOKING UP, DOWN UNDER: Australia's economy rocketed to 4.3 percent growth through March, its fastest expansion since the global financial crisis, boosted by Chinese demand for iron ore and other commodities.

DARK CLOUD: manufacturing continued to contract as a mining boom drives up the Australian dollar, making the country's manufactured exports less competitive on global markets.

INTEREST RATE IMPACT: The January-March figures predate the latest deterioration in the European debt crisis but could still make Australia's central bank less willing to cut interest rates aggressively. The central bank on Tuesday cut its benchmark rate for a second consecutive month.