Australian services sector finally growing

In a rare bit of good news for the economy, Australia’s services sector has grown for the first time in a year, boosted by the Reserve Bank’s February rate cut and the lower Australian dollar.

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Services expanded by 1.8 points to 51.7 in February, above the 50 level separating expansion from contraction, according to the Australian Industry Group’s performance of services index on Wednesday.

The return to growth was driven by strong gains in the finance and insurance sub-sector, likely boosted by the RBA rate cut, while the lower currency boosted demand for tourism, the report said.

This is one of the first signs that the fundamental economy is responding as desired to the February rate cut. Until now, the only discernible effects were a weaker Aussie dollar and a more expensive sharemarket.

– with AAP

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