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Australia Economy Profile 2018

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Economy - overviewFollowing two decades of continuous growth, low unemployment, contained inflation, very low public debt, and a strong and stable financial system, Australia enters 2018 facing a range of growth constraints, principally driven by the sharp fall in global prices of key export commodities. Demand for resources and energy from Asia and especially China has stalled and sharp drops in current prices have impacted growth.

The services sector is the largest part of the Australian economy, accounting for about 70% of GDP and 75% of jobs. Australia was comparatively unaffected by the global financial crisis as the banking system has remained strong and inflation is under control.

Australia benefited from a dramatic surge in its terms of trade in recent years, although this trend has reversed due to falling global commodity prices. Australia is a significant exporter of natural resources, energy, and food. Australia's abundant and diverse natural resources attract high levels of foreign investment and include extensive reserves of coal, iron, copper, gold, natural gas, uranium, and renewable energy sources. A series of major investments, such as the US$40 billion Gorgon Liquid Natural Gas Project, will significantly expand the resources sector.

Australia is an open market with minimal restrictions on imports of goods and services. The process of opening up has increased productivity, stimulated growth, and made the economy more flexible and dynamic. Australia plays an active role in the WTO, APEC, the G20, and other trade forums. Australia’s free trade agreement (FTA) with China entered into force in 2015, adding to existing FTAs with the Republic of Korea, Japan, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, and the US, and a regional FTA with ASEAN and New Zealand. Australia continues to negotiate bilateral agreements with India and Indonesia, as well as larger agreements with its Pacific neighbors and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, and an Asia-wide Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership that includes the 10 ASEAN countries and China, Japan, Korea, New Zealand and India.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$1.235 trillion (2017 est.)
$1.209 trillion (2016 est.)
$1.179 trillion (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$1.39 trillion (2016 est.)
GDP - real growth rate2.2% (2017 est.)
2.5% (2016 est.)
2.4% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$49,900 (2017 est.)
$49,600 (2016 est.)
$49,100 (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
Gross national saving22.3% of GDP (2017 est.)
21.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
22.1% of GDP (2015 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 57.1%
government consumption: 19%
investment in fixed capital: 24.2%
investment in inventories: 0%
exports of goods and services: 20.5%
imports of goods and services: -20.8% (2017 est.)
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 3.6%
industry: 26.1%
services: 70.3% (2017 est.)
Population below poverty lineNA%
Labor force12.91 million (2017 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 3.6%
industry: 21.1%
services: 75.3% (2009 est.)
Unemployment rate5.6% (2017 est.)
5.7% (2016 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 12.7%
male: 13.9%
female: 11.4% (2016 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 2%
highest 10%: 25.4% (1994)
Distribution of family income - Gini index30.3 (2008)
35.2 (1994)
Budgetrevenues: $461 billion
expenditures: $484.9 billion (2017 est.)
Taxes and other revenues33.2% of GDP (2017 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-1.7% of GDP (2017 est.)
Public debt47.1% of GDP (2017 est.)
46.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)2% (2017 est.)
1.3% (2016 est.)
Central bank discount rate3% (28 February 2013)
4.35% (31 December 2010)
note: this is the Reserve Bank of Australia's "cash rate target," or policy rate
Commercial bank prime lending rate5.3% (31 December 2017 est.)
5.42% (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of narrow money$271.9 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$243.1 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of broad money$1.586 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$1.415 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$2.336 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$2.098 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$1.187 trillion (31 December 2015 est.)
$1.289 trillion (31 December 2014 est.)
$1.366 trillion (31 December 2013 est.)
Agriculture - productswheat, barley, sugarcane, fruits; cattle, sheep, poultry
Industriesmining, industrial and transportation equipment, food processing, chemicals, steel
Industrial production growth rate1% (2017 est.)
Current Account Balance-$21.68 billion (2017 est.)
-$33.31 billion (2016 est.)
Exports$224.5 billion (2017 est.)
$191.7 billion (2016 est.)
Exports - commoditiescoal, iron ore, gold, meat, wool, alumina, wheat, machinery and transport equipment
Exports - partnersChina 30.5%, Japan 12.4%, US 6.5%, South Korea 6.1% (2016)
Imports$215.4 billion (2017 est.)
$198.5 billion (2016 est.)
Imports - commoditiesmachinery and transport equipment, computers and office machines, telecommunication equipment and parts; crude oil and petroleum products
Imports - partnersChina 23.4%, US 11.5%, Japan 7.8%, Thailand 5.6%, Germany 5.3%, South Korea 4.3% (2016)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$60.3 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$55.07 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Debt - external$1.67 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$1.547 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$647.7 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$617.7 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$443.4 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$441.4 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Exchange ratesAustralian dollars (AUD) per US dollar -
1.311 (2017 est.)
1.3442 (2016 est.)
1.3442 (2015 est.)
1.3291 (2014 est.)
1.1094 (2013 est.)
Fiscal year1 July - 30 June

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on January 20, 2018