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Australia government spending jumps amid coronavirus fight

SYDNEY, Sept 1 (Reuters) - Australian government spending jumped in the June quarter as a host of emergency fiscal programmes were launched to support jobs and activity in the face of a nation-wide coronavirus lockdowns.

Spending on operational items rose 2.9% in the June quarter from the previous quarter to an inflation-adjusted A$99.68 billion ($73.53 billion), the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported on Tuesday.

Investment in fixed assets by the government and public enterprises rose 1.0% to A$24.79 billion.

The ABS said public sector demand was expected to contribute 0.6 percentage points to real gross domestic product (GDP) in the June quarter.

Public spending accounts usually for around 24% of GDP, data for which are due on Wednesday. Analysts forecast GDP sank a record 6.0% in the quarter as the struggle to contain the pandemic shut down whole sectors of the economy. ($1 = 1.3556 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Wayne Cole; Editing by Sam Holmes)

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