Australia released its Q1 GDP data at 1.3%, smashing expectations of 0.5% according to a Reuters poll. The result was largely attributed runaway household and business spending, especially in the mining sector. By the numbers, with its strongest printing in four years, household demand advanced 1.6%, largely driven by positive salary numbers. The transportation, education, food, and health sectors also put up strong numbers.
But most would agree that it was the 20% spending increase on mining and liquefied natural gas projects in the last quarter that was the main contributing factor. The boom in mining that Australia has experienced ties directly to Chinese demand for manufacturing inputs, which of course comes with its own risks given slowdown fears. But that's not what markets are concerned with this morning. The overnight data certainly gives Australia a little bit of wiggle room when it comes to the two primary risks to its economy: deterioration and contagion in Europe, and any kind of serious slowdown in China. Furthermore, it takes a bit of pressure off the Reserve Bank of Australia, which only a day ago cut rates by 25 basis points.
Off the charts, the AUDUSD popped almost a big figure up towards 0.9900 following the data, but has since stabilized around 0.9850. The overnight move is in stark contrast to the kind of activity seen in the pair lately, which dropped about nine big figures in the month of May, tumbling from up near 1.05 down as low as 0.9600 at one point. The Aussie dollar also made solid headway against the Japanese yen and the euro.