Australian Reserve Bank lowers GDP growth forecast

Sydney, Aug 9 (IANS) The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has revised its forecast for gross domestic product (GDP) growth from 2.5 percent to 2.25 percent.

In its quarterly statement on monetary policy released Friday, the RBA said its revision was based on the expectation that non-mining sectors would fill the gap left by the decline in mining investment.

"The outlook for the domestic economy is a little weaker in the near term than it was in the May Statement," the RBA said.

"This reflects the recent run of data on domestic demand and a lowering of the forecast profile for mining investment over the next few years."

The central bank expects GDP growth to remain below trend through to around the middle of next year, before picking up to be above trend in 2015.

"Mining investment is expected to decline more noticeably towards the end of the forecast period as the large projects in liquefied natural gas reach completion," it said in the quarterly statement. "However, in time other sources of demand are likely to contribute more to growth."

The central bank said it would adjust policy "as needed".

"The board will continue to assess the outlook and adjust policy as needed to foster sustainable growth in demand and inflation outcomes consistent with the inflation target over time," the RBA said.

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