Australia avoids recession with growth in December quarter

AP News
Posted: Feb 28, 2017 9:35 PM

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia has reported a faster-than-expected 1.1 percent expansion in the final three months of last year, as resurgent coal and iron ore prices helped the country avoid recession.

Had the economy shrunk for the December quarter in Australian Bureau of Statistics figures released on Wednesday, Australia would be in its first technical recession since 1991.

The growth followed a shock 0.5 percent decline for the September quarter.

Growth for the calendar year was 2.4 percent, up from 1.8 percent for the year through September.

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Mining and agriculture were among the industries with the highest growth in the latest quarter. Iron ore and coal are Australia's biggest exports and reduced demand from China has cooled a mining boom and hurt the Australian economy.