Australia’s economy expands faster than expected

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SYDNEY: Australia’s economy strengthened last year supported by consumer and government spending, data showed on Wednesday, with the better-than-expected figures raising hopes the resources-dependent nation is emerging out of a recent slump. Economic growth expanded by 0.6 percent in October to December to take the annual rate of expansion to a surprise 3.0 percent, figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed. The figures beat market expectations of fourth-quarter growth of 0.4 percent for year-on-year growth of 2.5 percent, and sent the Australian dollar jumping almost half a cent to 72.19 US cents.

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