[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 December 2006, 08:19 GMT
Drought slows Australia's economy
Australian farmer overlooks land impacted by drought
Australia's drought is considered to be the worst on record
Australia has reported a slowdown in economic growth, as the country struggles with a severe drought.

The economy expanded by just 0.3% in the three months to September, compared with the previous quarter, the slowest rate in more than three years.

Australia's key crop production fell by more than a third during the quarter, hit by the worst drought in a century.

However, mining-led exports helped keep the economy growing, despite an overall drop in business investment.

"In the period ahead, growth is likely to remain modest, reflecting the effects of the severe drought," said Australia's finance minister Peter Costello.

The Reserve Bank of Australia last month warned that the national drought was likely to slow economic growth, as a result of a drop in farming output.

It predicted that the drought would cut annual economic growth from 1.9% to 1.15%.

Australia's central bank has been pursuing a policy of interest rate rises in recent months, and increased base rates by a quarter of a percentage point to 6.25% in November in a bid to keep a lid on inflation.

Analysts said two previous interest rate rises earlier in the year were already showing signs of having an effect on the economy.

Australian drought 'to cut GDP'
13 Nov 06 |  Business
Wheat prices jump to 10-year high
11 Oct 06 |  Business
AWB faces $1bn US farms lawsuit
11 Jul 06 |  Business
Zimbabwe 'running out of wheat'
04 Mar 06 |  Africa

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific