SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australian economic growth slowed in the first quarter as a flood of imports and dismal weather proved a drag, but strength in domestic demand and mounting price pressures still set the scene for more hikes in interest rates.

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics out on Wednesday showed gross domestic product (GDP) rose 0.8% in the March quarter from the previous quarter, topping market forecasts of a 0.5% gain.

Annual growth ticked down to a still-solid 3.3%, from 4.2%, and most analysts expect that to accelerate again as cashed-up consumers seem happy to keep spending.

(Reporting by Wayne Cole; Editing by Christopher Cushing)