Australia enters first recession in nearly 30 years

Pandemic saw economy shrink by 7% in June

Australia’s economy has suffered its sharpest quarterly drop since the 1930s global recession because of the Covid-19 pandemic, with official data released on Wednesday confirming the country is experiencing its first recession in 28 years.

The latest national accounts showed the economy shrank 7 per cent in June, the biggest contraction since records began in 1959.

Its nearest rival was a 2 per cent fall in June 1974, though economists estimate a sharper fall in the early 1930s when Australian became one of the countries hardest hit by the Great Depression.

Combined with a smaller 0.3 per cent drop in the March quarter, the definition of a technical recession – two consecutive quarters of contraction – has been fulfilled.

Treasurer of Australia Josh Frydenberg said: "Today's national accounts confirm the devastating impact on the Australian economy from Covid-19."

“Our record run of 28 consecutive years of economic growth has now officially come to an end.”

‘Devastating day’

The country's prime minister Scott Morrison told parliament: "This is a devastating day for Australia."

Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development figures show the average contraction among OECD countries in the June quarter was 9.8 per cent, including a 20 per cent slump in the UK, a 14 per cent downturn in France and a 9.1 per cent drop in the US. – AP

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