The economy has bounced back strongly from recession, posting the fastest growth since the late 1970s on the back of a surge in consumer spending as coronavirus restrictions unwind.

The ABS says the economy grew 3.3% over the three months to the end of September – better than the 2.5% most economists had expected – partly reversing the 7% drop in the June Quarter.

“Australia experienced a partial recovery in the September Quarter,” says the ABS head of national accounts Michael Smedes. The improvement signals the end of “recession”, which is informally defined as two consecutive quarters of economic contraction. Household spending, which dropped almost 13% in the June Quarter, rose 8% in the September Quarter, driven by spending on hotels, restaurants and cafes, which began to resume more normal trading in the quarter. Victoria was the only state to record a fall in household spending, of 1.2%, owing to a second lockdown that began in August. The latest set of national accounts, put the economy on track to grow faster than the Reserve Bank had forecast last month.