SYDNEY, March 20 (Xinhua) -- Australia's economic outlook has improved with a leading index pointing to above trend growth, according to a study released on Wednesday by the Westpac Banking Corp and Melbourne Institute.
The annualized growth rate of the Westpac-Melbourne Institute Leading Index, which indicates the likely pace of economic activity three to nine months into the future, was 3.4 percent in January, above its long term trend of 2.7 percent, Westpac said.
However, the annualized growth rate of the Coincident Index, which measures current growth, was 2.2 percent, below its long term trend of 2.9 percent.
Westpac senior economist Matthew Hassan said the index continued to point to solid growth in 2013.
"Momentum has improved significantly since the first half of 2012 when growth virtually stalled," he said in a statement.
Hassan said the rise suggested the pace of expansion was only marginally above trend.
"With the economy posting a weak finish to 2012 and given the challenges it is set to encounter once the mining investment boom peaks, that pace may be difficult to sustain over the course of 2013," Hassan added.