Company profit growth the strongest since 2011

GROSS company operating profits rose 3.0% in the March quarter, the largest quarterly increase since September 2011. 

The increase was driven by a 9.5% surge in mining profits, helped by a rise in commodity prices over the quarter. 

Australia's terms of trade (ratio of import to export prices) appears to have risen for the first time in over a year.

Retail sales rose 0.2% in April, just slightly below our own and consensus expectations for a 0.3% increase. For the year to April, retail sales growth held at 3.1%.

"Today's data indicate that Australian incomes grew modestly in the March quarter," said St George economist Janu Chan.

"The range of data over the past few days leaves us comfortable with our GDP forecast for 0.7% growth in the March quarter, and annual growth of 2.6% in the year to the March quarter."

Tomorrow markets will be watching the release of net exports and government finance statistics ahead of the GDP data release on Wednesday.


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