WEEKEND ECONOMIST: Watching for recovery

The first sectors to emerge from the recession will be cyclical spending including housing and motor vehicles. But the depth of the financial crisis will delay the normal recovery time for these industries.

The Australian economy is now in recession. Westpac's forecasts are close to the Reserve Bank's and the Government's. We expect that the economy will contract in each of the first three quarters of 2009 to be followed by a particularly anaemic recovery beginning in the December quarter. Growth of around 0.2 per cent is expected for the December quarter with the first half of 2010 showing only a 1.5 per cent annual pace. Westpac, the RBA and the Government expect growth in the second half of 2010 to improve to a still below trend 3 per cent annualised pace.

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