More news that even though the economy may not be bubbling along above the trend rate needed to balance out the mining boom its not doing as bad as some fear.
Building approvals for December fell 3.3% month on month against market expectations of a heavier 5% fall. That’s a fairly solid result coming after the upwardly revised 7.7% rise the month before which took the year on year growth rate to 8.8%.
Sure that’s slowing from the 10.2% year on year rate that approvals were running at the previous month but its still a solid result and shows that housing, at least, is doing its bit for domestic growth.
Trade data was also better than expected with a smaller than forecast deficit of 436 million for December against the market’s expectations of a $1,016 billion deficit. Driving the improvement was the increase in exports of 1% and a fall in imports of 1%. Non monetary gold seems to have been a big part of the move with a rise of 52% to $428 million. This suggests the trend in deficits over the past 3 quarters remains intact.