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Australia Economy Profile

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Economy - overview

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 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.

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.

For nearly two decades up till 2017, Australia had benefited from a dramatic surge in its terms of trade. As export prices increased faster than import prices, the economy experienced continuous growth, low unemployment, contained inflation, very low public debt, and a strong and stable financial system. Australia entered 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 is growing at a slower pace and sharp drops in export prices have impacted growth.

GDP (purchasing power parity)
$1.248 trillion (2017 est.)
$1.221 trillion (2016 est.)
$1.19 trillion (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)
$1.38 trillion (2017 est.)
GDP - real growth rate
1.84% (2019 est.)
2.77% (2018 est.)
2.45% (2017 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)
$50,400 (2017 est.)
$50,100 (2016 est.)
$49,600 (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

Gross national saving
21% of GDP (2017 est.)
20.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
21.5% of GDP (2015 est.)
GDP - composition, by end use
household consumption: 56.9% (2017 est.)
government consumption: 18.4% (2017 est.)
investment in fixed capital: 24.1% (2017 est.)
investment in inventories: 0.1% (2017 est.)
exports of goods and services: 21.5% (2017 est.)
imports of goods and services: -21% (2017 est.)
GDP - composition by sector
agriculture: 3.6% (2017 est.)
industry: 25.3% (2017 est.)
services: 71.2% (2017 est.)
Population below poverty line
NA
Labor force
12.568 million (2020 est.)
Labor force - by occupation
agriculture: 3.6%
industry: 21.1%
services: 75.3% (2009 est.)
Unemployment rate
5.16% (2019 est.)
5.29% (2018 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24
total: 11.8%
male: 112.8%
female: 10.7% (2018 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share
lowest 10%: 2%
highest 10%: 25.4% (1994)
Distribution of family income - Gini index
30.3 (2008)
35.2 (1994)
Budget
revenues: 490 billion (2017 est.)
expenditures: 496.9 billion (2017 est.)
Taxes and other revenues
35.5% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)
-0.5% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Public debt
40.8% of GDP (2017 est.)
40.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)
2% (2017 est.)
1.3% (2016 est.)
Central bank discount rate
3% (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 rate
5.24% (31 December 2017 est.)
5.42% (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of narrow money
$277.7 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$243.6 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of broad money
$277.7 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$243.6 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of domestic credit
$2.384 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$2.097 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 - products
wheat, barley, sugarcane, fruits; cattle, sheep, poultry
Industries
mining, industrial and transportation equipment, food processing, chemicals, steel
Industrial production growth rate
1.4% (2017 est.)
Current Account Balance
$8.146 billion (2019 est.)
-$29.777 billion (2018 est.)
Exports
$231.6 billion (2017 est.)
$191.7 billion (2016 est.)
Exports - commodities
iron ore, coal, gold, natural gas, beef, aluminum ores and conc, wheat, meat (excluding beef), wool, alumina, alcohol
Exports - partners
China 33.5%, Japan 14.6%, South Korea 6.6%, India 5%, Hong Kong 4% (2017)
Imports
$221 billion (2017 est.)
$198.7 billion (2016 est.)
Imports - commodities
motor vehicles, refined petroleum, telecommunication equipment and parts; crude petroleum, medicaments, goods vehicles, gold, computers
Imports - partners
China 22.9%, US 10.8%, Japan 7.5%, Thailand 5.1%, Germany 4.9%, South Korea 4.5% (2017)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold
$66.58 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$55.07 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Debt - external
$1.714 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$1.547 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home
$700.6 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$617.7 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad
$509.7 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$441.4 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Exchange rates
Australian 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 year
1 July - 30 June

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on Friday, November 27, 2020