Treasurer Wayne Swan
Treasurer Wayne Swan Kari Bourne

Treasurer Swan praises nation's economic performance

TREASURER Wayne Swan says Australia is out-performing the rest of the developed world after it was revealed the economy grew by 3.1% last year.

Figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed the economy grew by 0.6% in the December quarter.

Australia has now experienced 21 consecutive years of economic growth, Mr Swan said.

"This is a pretty impressive outcome," Mr Swan told reporters in Canberra.

Mr Swan made the point Australia's economy was 13% larger than it was when Labor took power in later 2007.

He said this was proof the government had "got the big economic calls right", particularly during the global financial crisis.

Last year's growth was achieved despite a backdrop of a high Australian dollar, a sharp decline in the country's terms of trade and continuing global uncertainty, he said.

"Australia has managed to achieve solid growth in the December quarter at a time when around half of all advanced economies contracted, including five major advanced economies," he said.

Mr Swan also made the point Australia's around-trend growth rate over the year was more than four times the OECD average.

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