Australia’s December quarter GDP report was released a week ago, and it tidily beat market expectations, expanding by 1.1% in real terms compared to forecasts for an increase of 0.8%.
It’s not the only data release that’s impressed of late.
As this chart from Westpac shows, the proportion of data that’s beaten expectations is now well above 2016 levels.
“Australia’s data pulse — the percentage of data stronger than the previous release in a rolling 8 week window — has bounced sharply this year, from under 40% to as high as 56% in late February before easing back to around 50%,” says Sean Callow, senior currency strategist at Westpac.
Callow says that the pulse appears to be consistent with an economy that — notwithstanding the volatility in GDP in the second half of last year — that is growing at a moderate pace, an view that fits nicely with the 2.4% year-on-year GDP growth rate reported in the December quarter.