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Australia’s economy tipped to grow at sluggish pace

The Australian economy will continue to grow at a sluggish and below-trend pace, an industry study shows.

The Westpac-Melbourne Institute leading index of economic activity, which indicates the likely pace of activity three to nine months into the future, posted an annualised growth rate of 2.6 percent in January, falling below its long-term trend of 3.0 percent, Westpac said on Wednesday.

Westpac senior economist Matthew Hassan said that growth towards the end of 2011, particularly in November, was the weakest seen in more than 10 years.