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Australia - GDP
Australian gross domestic product (GDP) is the most important measure with which to evaluate the performance of Australia’s economy. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) publishes GDP figures on an annual and quarterly basis. The table below shows the change of price-adjusted GDP for Australia, typically referred to as Australia’s economic growth rate. 

Gross domestic product (GDP) measures the economic performance of a country over a given period, typically a year or a quarter. It is therefore the most important economic indicator to evaluate the country’s economy (see our GDP page for more information on this indicator).

Australia’s GDP data (National Accounts, NA) are produced by Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) based on the System of National Accounts (SNA 2008).

Australian GDP Growth Performance

In the ten years before the great recession, from 1999 to 2008, Australia’s GDP grew 3.4% on average per year. Economic growth decelerated to 1.6% in 2009 as a result of the global financial turmoil. Although 2009 was the worst year for the Australian economy since the recession in 1991, the economy showed great resilience to the global crisis. In fact, Australia was one of the few developed countries that recorded positive in 2009. Australia’s economic performance improved in the following years, with GDP growth averaging 2.7% from 2010 to 2013.

Structure of Australian Gross Domestic Product

The increase in demand for raw commodities from emerging countries since the early 2000s, which led to a strong rise in global commodity prices, has played a very important role in the dynamics of the Australian economy. Along with higher terms of trade, which sparked a substantial rise in the purchasing power of households, the rise in commodity prices caused a boom in mining investment, particularly coal and iron. Mining investment, hence, has been one of the main drivers of Australian growth during the last 10 years. The Australian economy is now in transition from the investment phase of the mining boom to the production phase. The expansion in production capacity for iron and coal has already had a strong positive effect on Australia’s exports to the Asian market. The mining sector, together with the financial sector and related professional and scientific services have markedly increased in importance in Australia’s GDP over the course of the last 10 years. In contrast, manufacturing output has seen its share steadily shrinking. As a result, around three-quarters of the economy now involves mining and the production of services rather than goods, with the financial sector replacing manufacturing as the largest single industry in the economy.

When are Australian GDP Data Released?

The Australian Bureau of Statistics publishes GDP data on a quarterly and annual basis. Annual GDP data for Australia are released each year in November. Quarterly GDP readings are released two months after the end of the quarter, i.e. at the beginning of March, June, September and December. Quarterly GDP data are published along with a press release in which the Australian Bureau of Statistics provides an analysis of the results. The press release is available on the government website
along with a calendar of the upcoming releases.

How are Australian GDP Figures Computed?

The Australian Bureau of Statistics calculates GDP by applying three methods: the production, the expenditure, and the income approaches. The production approach determines the value added of all producers as the difference between the value of goods and services produced (output) and intermediate consumption, adding the taxes on products (such as tobacco, mineral oil and value added tax), and subtracting the subsidies on products. The expenditure approach calculates the expenditure for the final use of goods and services, i.e. final consumption expenditure of households and government final consumption expenditure, capital formation and the balance of exports and imports (net exports). Finally, the income approach determines the income of the economy as the sum of compensation of employees, gross operating surplus, gross mixed income and taxes less subsidies on production and imports. Volume estimates are derived at the total GDP level by deflating current price estimates by the implicit price deflator from the expenditure approach. While each approach should, conceptually, produce the same estimate of GDP, if the three measures are compiled using different data sources, then different estimates of GDP result. The ABS aligns the estimates of GDP annually by balancing them in supply and use tables. Balancing in supply and use tables ensures that the same estimate of GDP is obtained from the three approaches.




Australia Economy 1.gif

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