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The Turnbull government will be hoping official growth figures can get the focus back on to the economy after weeks of distraction from parliament’s citizenship fiasco and the same-sex marriage postal survey.

The national accounts for the June quarter are due on Wednesday as parliament sits for two weeks.

"Solid employment figures, growing business confidence, and a brightening of the global economy suggest a slightly improved outlook for the Australian economy," Timo Henckel, a lecturer at the Australian National University's Research School of Economics said on Monday.

After a series of positive results for retail spending, construction and business investment, economists are predicting a growth rate of around 0.7 per cent over the June quarter, more than double the puny 0.3 per cent recorded in the first three months of the year.

But it would mean the annual rate remains at 1.7 per cent and well below a rate normally associated with sustainable employment growth.

Westpac senior economist Andrew Hanlan said the economy appears to have regained its momentum, supported by a burst of hiring, more normal weather conditions, a reduced drag from the downturn in mining investment and a stronger global backdrop.

Rising employment is expected to be reflected in stronger consumer spending in the quarter.

"However, weak wages growth is likely to persist and remains a headwind," Mr Hanlan said.

Treasury had expected Cyclone Debbie that hit northwest Australia in late March would spill over into the June quarter and reduce economic growth by about a quarter of a percentage point.

Economists will finalise their June quarter growth forecasts after the release of a series figures over Monday and Tuesday including company profits, wages, business inventories, international trade and government spending.

Dr Henckel expects the Reserve Bank will keep the cash rate at a record low of 1.5 per cent when its board meets on Tuesday.

He said it is difficult to gauge what impact an easing jobless rate is having on inflation, given the high rate of youth unemployment, part-time employment and underemployment, which contain any price pressures.

Dr Henckel chairs the ANU's so-called "RBA shadow board", made up of academics, economists and former RBA board members.

"The RBA shadow board continues to advocate a hold-and-wait policy," he said.

It attached a 61 per cent probability of the cash rate holding steady this month, up from the 60 per cent chance it gave prior to the August meeting.

The probability of a rate hike in six months time was put at 69 per cent.

 

By Colin Brinsden
 
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