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Visitors, Big Infrastructure Investment Boost Australia Economy


SYDNEY (Reuters) — Australia’s export volumes jumped in the June quarter as foreign visitors swarmed the country, data showed on Tuesday, offsetting softness in household consumption and providing a much-needed boost to economic growth.

Spending by tourists and foreign students is classed as a service export.

Other figures showed the government also spent big on infrastructure in the quarter, greatly lessening the risk of a negative reading for gross domestic product (GDP).

The data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed net export volumes added 0.8 percentage points to GDP in the second quarter, more than twice analyst expectations.

Spending by the government added another 0.5 percentage points to growth, when most analysts had looked for a flat outcome.

Taken together, that should more than offset a sharp 1.0 percentage point drag from inventories.

“Services export volumes increased by a remarkable 12.1%, buoyed by increased student and tourist flows,” said Sean Langcake, head of macroeconomic forecasting for Oxford Economics Australia.