Australia is a rich country with huge natural
resources. Over the past close to three decades, the
country has shown uninterrupted economic growth, which
no other country has been able to compare with. The
economy has been through both the financial crisis and
falling commodity prices. Today, the government strives
to reduce dependence on the mining industry and broaden
Agriculture completely dominated the economy until
the Second World War, but then a rapid expansion of both
the manufacturing and mining industries began.
Agriculture was modernized, the service sector expanded
and tourism's importance to the economy increased. The
Asian countries took over the role of the Western world
as Australia's most important trading partner. Nowadays,
the service sector is by far the largest measured in
percentage of gross domestic product (GDP).
Major imports by Australia, covering a full list of top products imported by the country and trade value for each product category.
The foundation of today's good economy was laid by
the Labor government that took office in 1983. High
tariffs were lowered and other barriers to trade were
abolished, the financial market liberalized and the
Australian dollar allowed to flow freely. In 1990, a
privatization program was launched, including
telecommunications, aviation and banks. An important
economic impetus since the late 1990s has been strong
private consumption, which has enabled high GDP growth
despite crises in the outside world.
Australia had a low inflation rate in the early
2000s, the lowest unemployment rate in many years and a
surplus in the state budget. Good housekeeping with
state resources combined with growing foreign trade
revenue paved the way for Australia to face the 2008
international financial crisis with extensive stimulus
measures equivalent to close to $ 57 billion. The money
went to the housing and road construction, schools and
direct support to mainly low- and middle-income earners.
The fact that the mining industry was booming as a
result of increased demand and investment from China,
which needed iron ore and coal for its growing economy,
provided additional help to manage the crisis. But
unemployment increased and the growth rate in the
economy on the whole was lower than before.
Abbreviationfinder.org: Check this abbreviation website to find three letter ISO codes for all countries in the world, including AUS which represents the country of Australia.
However, in natural resource-rich states such as
Queensland and Western Australia, growth was good due to
demand not least from China (some spoke of a two-speed
economy with, on the one hand, a thriving mining
industry, on the other a struggling manufacturing
industry). In 2012, the value of mining exports tripled,
while investment in the mining industry continued to
As the economic growth rate in China slowed by a few
years into the 2010s, Chinese imports of iron ore and
other mining products from Australia decreased as global
commodity prices fell. But even though growth was
declining in Queensland and Western Australia, among
other things, and investment in the mining industry was
declining, Australia managed relatively well, due in
part to continued high commodity exports.
In addition to the mining sector, the financial
industry and the construction industry have also been
important industries during the last decade.
Dependence on China remains strong: exports there,
today including agricultural products, still account for
a significant portion of total exports, and the income
of the many Chinese students who graduate from
Australian universities and from wealthy tourist Chinese
plays an important role for the economy . In addition,
Australia has also been one of the countries in the
world that Chinese investors have been particularly
During the 2010 century, the government has sought to
remove the dependence on the mining industry through
investments in other industries. In order to stimulate
growth in other sectors and help the economy to cope
with the change, the central bank has maintained low
interest rates. However, the low interest rates have
pushed high housing prices and led Australian households
to incur large debts.
During the past decade, the state budget has shown a
deficit and the goal is that the budget will end up at
the latest by the beginning of the 2020s. Government
debt has been at a relatively low level compared to many
other rich countries.
In recent years, the gaps between high- and
low-income earners have also increased, especially the
indigenous population is far behind the richest group in
FACTS - FINANCE
GDP per person
US $ 57,305 (2018)
US $ 1,432,195 million (2018)
2.8 percent (2018)
Agriculture's share of GDP
2.6 percent (2018)
Manufacturing industry's share of GDP
5.8 percent (2018)
The service sector's share of GDP
66.6 percent (2018)
1.6 percent (2019)
Government debt's share of GDP
41.4 percent (2018)
Planned attack is canceled
Three men are sentenced to 18 years in prison each
for planning a suicide attack against an army base
Economic growth surprises
Economic growth proves to have been unexpectedly
strong thanks to a positive development in construction
and mining. Instead of an estimated 2.1 percent, GDP
grew by 2.5 percent during the year.
Mining companies negotiate with Aborigines
British-Australian mining company Rio Tinto signs an
agreement with five Aboriginal groups in the Pilbar
region of Western Australia, which gives the company the
right to continue its iron ore mining on Aboriginal land
for 40 years against Aboriginal profits and 14 percent
of its employment.
New Aboriginal Party
A new Aboriginal party, the First Nations Political
Party, led by Maurie Japarta Ryan, is registered with
the Australian Electoral Commission.
Expensive floods in Queensland
The state of Queensland in the Northeast is suffering
from severe flooding, the cost of which exceeds all
previous natural disasters.