Slowing Chinese economy \’will hit Australia\’s growth\’

Official figures released showed China\’s economy grew at 6.


8 per cent in the December quarter, down from nine per cent.

Australia has ridden the wave of insatiable Chinese demand for iron ore and coal during recent years but that is expected to slow dramatically as its rapid growth begins to falter.

The government believes the slowing Chinese economy could blow $5 billion in export revenue to China.

“What we are now seeing is the unwinding of the mining boom and all of the consequences that will have for our economy and, of course, for growth more broadly,” Mr Swan told Fairfax Radio Network from New York.

“There will be a very significant impact on government revenues flowing directly from the unwinding of the mining boom, particularly this dramatic slowing of Chinese growth.”

Despite the immediate gloomy outlook for the mining sector, Mr Swan said demand for commodities would still be a driver for the Australian economy over the longer term.

“Commodities in the long term for Australia will be a continuing source of our prosperity,” Mr Swan said.

Mr Swan is in New York for the G\’Day USA trade promotion initiative but says it is also an opportunity to discuss the global economic problems.

“A real feature of this global financial crisis which is turning into a global recession is the speed (of changes),” he said.

There had been a marked deterioration in the international outlook since October, he said.

“What we are now seeing in figures for the December quarter throughout the G7 and now in China and South Korea is a marked correction in growth, which is very sobering and which will have knock on effects for countries like Australia.”