Frydenberg FOFA banking royal commission
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg (Image: AAP/Lukas Coch)

Yesterday’s national accounts for the September quarter are the most important pieces of economic data this year, and for all the wrong reasons.

Overall, the economy grew by just 0.3% in the September quarter, bringing annual growth down to 2.8% in seasonally adjusted terms. The 0.3% result was the weakest growth since the negative result of September 2016, hurt by weak business inventory growth, which was nearly flat in the quarter and hacked 0.3% off the GDP result, and a fall in household spending. What household expenditure there was was fuelled by another decrease in the savings rate, while government expenditure helped prop up growth, along with a net export contribution.