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Australia current account surplus shrinks, drags on GDP -Breaking


© Reuters. An unloading forklift lifts containers off trucks in a storage unit near Sydney Airport, Australia. November 30, 2017. Picture taken November 30, 2017. REUTERS/David Gray

SYDNEY, (Reuters) – Australia’s current accounts surplus fell unexpectedly during the first quarter. Companies paid offshore investors fatter dividends and import volumes outpaced exports. This took a bit out of Australia’s economic growth.

On Tuesday, data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed that current account surplus was at A$7.5 billion (or 5.38 billion) – well under forecasts of A$13.4 trillion.

In the first quarter net exports will reduce gross domestic product (GDP), by 1.7 percentage points, which is higher than forecasts of a drag of 1.4 percentage points. On Wednesday, the GDP numbers will be released. They are expected to reflect a growth rate of 0.7% in the first quarter and 3.0% over the entire year.

($1 = 1.3939 Australian dollars)