Australian dollar drops as growth figures half expectations

TREASURER Joe Hockey, under pressure after disappointing growth figures released on Wednesday, said "doing nothing is not an option" for economic reforms.

ABS figures released Wednesday showed national growth was only 2.7% over the year to September - the first concrete figure on the first year of the Abbott Government.

It was also the second consecutive quarter in which growth in disposable incomes went backwards, while overall GDP growth did not meet market expectations, up only 0.3% over the September quarter.

Despite massive concessions to get his May budget through the Senate, Mr Hockey said the slowing growth was largely attributable to slowing mining investment and a "stubbornly high" Australian dollar.

He said the high dollar meant the impacts of lower commodity prices and falling business investment was not yet translating to rises in other sectors like agriculture exports and international tourism.


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