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Australia's economy "hits a pothole"

Floods and cyclones hit exports hard, causing the Australian economy to shrink at its sharpest rate since 1991.

AUSTRALIA HAS reported its biggest quarterly fall in gross domestic product (GDP) in 20 years.

The news will come as a worry to the almost 1,000 emigrants leaving Ireland every week, many of them with hopes of settling in Australia.

In the year up to 2010, just over 3,000 Irish citizens were granted permanent residency in Australia – a 22 per cent rise on the previous year.

The BBC reports that the Australian economy shrunk by 1.2 per cent in the first three months of this year, its sharpest contraction since 1991.

Besa Deda of the St George Bank described it as a “temporary pothole, courtesy of the natural disasters this year”.

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that flooding and cyclones which affected exports had contributed to the slowdown.

But the economy has also been affected by the slowing of growth in China and India, countries which were reliant on the import of natural resources from Australia.

About the author:

Jennifer O'Connell

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