Australia posts 21 years of economic growth

Australia continues to defy the global financial outlook by recording its 21st consecutive year of economic growth and in doing so becoming the only developed nation in the world to be able to make that claim.

The figures were released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics earlier this week and they showed that while in growth, the gross domestic product rose by only 0.6 per cent, compared to 1.4 per cent in the first three months of the year.

Treasurer Wayne Swan has hailed the 21 years of growth, claiming it is "like winning 21 premierships in a row and winning the last four very, very comfortably".

It is hoped that this record-breaking performance will provide a boost for consumer and business confidence.

CommSec chief economist Craig James said it is the longest economic expansion in Australia's history, with the last recession having ended 21 years ago.

He suggested that the highest contribution to economic growth came from exports followed by household spending in the form of the likes of home loans.

"We expect another year when economic growth is more likely to be in line with longer-term averages or slightly above, rather than something approaching the below-average outcomes from 2009-2011," he continued.

More reason to be optimistic in Australia came in the form of figures suggesting that the nation's jobless rate posted a surprise drop in August.

Job losses noted at Qantas, Darrell Lea and Caltex have yet to be taken into account in the rates but the figures showed that the unemployment rate eased to 5.1 per cent last month from 5.2 per cent in July.

Mr James said of future growth prospects: "Business investment in resource sectors should again be the mainstay of growth, but dwelling construction is expected to lift from depressed levels and household spending should continue to grow."

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