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Australian economy up

SYDNEY, Dec 16 – Australia\’s economy grew a lower-than-expected 0.2 percent in the third quarter, official data showed on Wednesday, indicating a slower recovery from the global financial crisis.

The on-quarter figure compares to world-beating growth of 0.6 percent in the three months to June and market expectations of 0.4 percent. Quarterly growth was 0.5 percent from a year earlier, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said.

Australia has emerged strongly from the economic slowdown thanks to buoyant resources exports and huge stimulus spending, prompting three successive rates rises to curb inflation.

"The critical point is we\’re not slipping back towards anything representing recession," The Australian business writer Andrew Main told Sky News.

"It\’s a reminder that all graphs don\’t go in a straight line — they go up, they go down. What we\’re looking at is a reminder that the economic recovery in Australia is not going to be a straight-line exercise."

Australia was the only advanced economy to avoid recession during the crisis and has forecast growth of 1.5 percent in the current financial year.

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