Economic Trends/Outlook in Australia

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Economic Overview

Australia is the world’s thirteenth largest economic power. After a slowing down due to global recession, in 2010 the Australian economy has been growing again, with an estimated growth rate of 3 % of the GDP. This good economic performance owes to the government’s fiscal policy of incentives, by the increase in household consumption and especially by the continuous Chinese demand which helps exports.

The Australian government’s priorities are to improve the country’s competitiveness, namely with regards to the export competition of Asian countries and to deal with the challenges of its aging population and its environment which is vulnerable to climatic problems (droughts).

Australia is a prosperous country and its per capita GDP is amongst the highest in the world. Despite the recent increase in unemployment rate due to the global economic crisis, it remains consistently low, around 5%.

Main Indicators 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
GDP (billions USD) 987.81 1,235.54e 1,448.15e 1,470.03e 1,574.00e
GDP (Constant Prices, Annual % Change) 1.3 2.7e 3.0e 3.5e 3.5e
GDP per Capita (USD) 44,999 55,590e 64,351e 64,517e 68,227e
General Government Balance (in % of GDP) -4.0 -4.5e -2.5e -0.8e -0.2e
General Government Gross Debt (in % of GDP) 17.6 22.3e 24.1e 24.8e 23.3e
Inflation Rate (%) 1.8 2.8e 3.0e 3.0e 2.8e
Unemployment Rate (% of the Labor Force) 5.6 5.2e 5.0e 4.8e 4.8e
Current Account (billions USD) -40.94e -41.58e -45.76e -61.56e -
Current Account (in % of GDP) -4.1e -3.5e -3.7e -4.8e -

Source: IMF - World Economic Outlook Database

Note: (e) Estimated Data


Main Sectors of Industry

The tertiary sector occupies a dominant position in the Australian economy (more than three-fourths of the GDP), but the agricultural and mining sectors are the most important for its exports. Australia is a vast agricultural country and one of the world's main exporters of wool, meat, wheat and cotton. The country is overflowing with mineral and energy raw materials, the export of which ensures it substantial revenues. Australia is among the top 10 producers and exporters of most mineral ores. It has the world's greatest reserves of numerous strategic resources such as uranium, of which it has 40% of the world's proven reserves.

Traditionally Australia is a finished goods importer. Its industrialization is fairly recent, a fact which explains the small scale of its manufacturing sector, which only employs 10% of the active population. The manufacturing industry is built up around the food industry (approximately a fifth of the workforce), machinery and equipment (around 20%), metal processing and metal goods (nearly 20%) and the chemical-petrochemical industry (slightly more than 10%).

Breakdown of Economic Activity By Sector Agriculture Industry Services
Employment By Sector (in % of Total Employment) 3.4 21.2 75.1
Value Added (in % of GDP) 2.5 29.1 68.4
Value Added (Annual % Change) 6.9 3.6 4.0

Source: World Bank - Last Available Data.

For more detailed background on Industries in Australia, click here.

Indicator of Economic Freedom

World Rank:
Regional Rank:

Distribution of Economic freedom in the world
Source: 2011 Index of Economic freedom, Heritage Foundation


Country Risk

See the Country Risk Analysis Provided By Ducroire.


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