CHART: Australia's economy has been impressing recently

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.

Source: Westpac

“Australia‚Äôs 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.

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