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Australia GDP growth slows in Q2 ahead of COVID lockdown downturn

Country ekes out 0.7% increase amid race to step up vaccinations

People walk through the quiet city center of Sydney during a lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19 in late August.   © Reuters

SYDNEY (Reuters) -- Australia's economy was already slowing in the June quarter before wide-spread coronavirus lockdowns slammed everything into reverse, leaving the country in a desperate race to vaccinate in the hope of opening up to recovery by Christmas.

Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics out on Wednesday showed gross domestic product (GDP) rose 0.7% in the June quarter. That was a step down from 1.9% in the March quarter, but topped forecasts of 0.5% and avoided analysts' worst fears of a negative outcome.

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