Australia's Economy Grew Slower Than Expected

Australia's economy grew by a sluggish 0.3% in the third quarter as a drought scorched the farm sector and firms ran down inventories, perhaps easing pressure for higher interest rates.

The rise in gross domestic product (GDP) was just below forecasts of a 0.4% increase, but at least was not negative as some had feared after some weak indicators in recent days.

Growth for the year stood at 2.2%. The figures pre-date November's rise in official interest rates, which may further temper growth going forward.