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GDP unlikely to match buoyant 2016 start

AAP logoAAP 24/08/2016 Colin Brinsden, AAP Economics Correspondent

New economic figures suggest the Turnbull government will have a less upbeat report card to deliver when parliament sits in the coming weeks.

Economic growth is likely to have slowed from its buoyant start to the year and limited progress is likely to have been made in getting the unemployment rate down any further.

Construction work completed in the June quarter fell by a much weaker than expected 3.7 per cent as engineering plummeted by a further nine per cent.

The data released on Wednesday showed engineering has tumbled by nearly 25 per cent in the past year alone as a result of the end of the mining investment boom, offsetting modest increases in home and non-residential building.

ANZ economists expect the construction result will have cut 0.5 percentage points from economic growth in the June quarter, the largest subtraction since the September quarter 2014.

National Australia Bank economist Tapas Strickland says it presents a "significant risk" to his bank's preliminary 0.3 per cent growth expectation for the June quarter.

Growth soared by a chunky 1.1 per cent in the March quarter, which resulted in a relatively lofty annual rate of 3.1 per cent.

Meanwhile, job advertising on the internet - a pointer to future employment strength - eased across the nation in July.

Department of Employment figures showed falls in jobs ads in all states and territories for an overall 2.2 per cent monthly decline, although they still remain 5.6 per cent higher than a year earlier.

Just two occupational groups showed increases in the month among eight monitored by the department - technicians/trade workers and labourers.

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