How Badly Is Australia’s Economy Really Doing?

Determining Australia’s economic health can be pretty difficult for the layman — with gloomy economist forecasts, dubious government spin and constant mud-flinging in Parliament, the overall picture is never crystal clear. Thankfully, our chums over at Business Insider have produced some graphs on the topic — and the outlook is rosier than you might think.

While the Global Financial Crisis wasn’t a fun time for anybody, Australia hasn’t suffered an actual recession since the early ’90s. During the last financial quarter our economy grew 0.9%, taking the annual rate to 2.5%. Not too shabby at all.

Meanwhile, unemployment figures are slowly beginning to recover. The graph below depicts Australia’s unemployment rate over the past 16 years, based on data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics:

As you can see, unemployment levels recently dropped to 5.9 per cent; down from more than 6 per cent the previous year. In addition, Westpac’s most recent consumer sentiment survey revealed a fall in employment anxiety: in other words, more people feel pretty secure in their jobs.

There has also been an uptick in household consumption expenditure over the past financial year, which means more Australians are spending. These are all signs that point towards a economy that isn’t in trouble.

As Business Insider concludes:

Australia, you’ve had a good year. You’e created jobs at a thunderous pace, and more Australians are working than ever before. You’re navigating a massive collapse in the terms of trade, a reluctance by businesses to invest, and a global economy that is slowing with a growth rate that is still very healthy by developed world standards.
So we are entitled to a bit of a merry Christmas.

You can check out more graphs and analysis at the link below. But the take home lesson here is not to worry. Australia dodged the GFC bullet and we’re still doing okay.

[Via Business Insider]

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