Growth

Australia’s demonstrated economic resilience, adaptability and record of steady growth provide a safe, low-risk environment in which to do business.

Now in its 26th year of consecutive annual economic growth, the Australian economy is underpinned by strong institutions, an exceptional services sector and an ability to respond to global changes.

Australia’s economy is:

  • the world’s 13th largest
  • rated AAA by all three global rating agencies
  • forecast to realise average annual real GDP growth of 2.9 per cent over the next five years – the highest among major advanced economies
  • characterised by high productivity levels, with 15 out of 20 industries rating above the global average.

Charts from the Benchmark Report

The Australia Benchmark Report provides rich data demonstrating why there is no better place than Australia to do business. The report examines six key reasons for investing in Australia – Growth, Industries, Talent, Location, Business and Innovation – and compares Australia’s credentials with other countries.

Charts can be downloaded and saved as images for use in reports and presentations (when using please reference www.austrade.gov.au)

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1. World’s 13th largest economy
Global forecasts predict Australia will maintain its position as the world’s 13th largest economy (in US dollar terms) in 2017. Australia’s nominal GDP is estimated at US$1.3 trillion (A$1.7 trillion) and accounts for 1.7 per cent of the global economy. Australia has almost tripled the value of its total production from two decades ago.
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2. 26th year of consecutive annual economic growth
The Australian economy remains resilient, sustained by sound macroeconomic policies, strong institutions and solid trade ties with the Asia-Pacific region. Growing more than three per cent on average each year since 1992, Australia is the only major developed economy to have recorded no annual recessions from 1992 to 2016 and is now in its 26th year of consecutive growth.
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3. Highest growth among advanced economies
Australia’s economic growth has outperformed its peers for the past two decades and the fundamentals are in place for this trend to continue. According to IMF forecasts released in October 2016, Australia is expected to realise average annual real GDP growth of 2.9 per cent between 2017 and 2021 – the highest among major advanced economies and up from an average growth rate of 2.7 per cent between 2012 and 2016.
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4. Strong ties to Asia support long-term growth
Australia’s medium- and long-term growth outlook is supported by its strong ties to the Asia-Pacific region. By 2021, the regional economy is expected to account for 44 per cent of global production in terms of purchasing power parity valuation, more than double the ratio in 1981. Over the same period, the combined economies of China and India will likely represent almost 30 per cent of the world’s GDP, significantly up from around five per cent in 1981.
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5. High productivity in growth sectors
The productivity levels of 15 out of 20 Australian industries rate above the average productivity of global competitors in the same sector. Australia is performing 20 per cent above this global average in five key growth sectors – gas, education, oil, tourism and health – and over 40 per cent in mining and agribusiness.
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6. Diversified, services-based economy
Australia’s services sector (excluding construction) accounts for around 75 per cent of real gross value added (GVA). The country’s sophisticated financial services industry is the largest contributor to its economy, generating 9.4 per cent of total GVA. Other top sectors include mining, construction, health care and social assistance, manufacturing, and professional, scientific and technical services.
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7. Steadily growing services sector
Australia’s services sector has expanded by an average of 3.4 per cent per annum, slightly above the all-industries average. Information media and telecommunications, financial and insurance services, and professional, scientific and technical services have seen solid growth, reflecting the country’s skills base in technology- and knowledge-intensive sectors. Australia’s construction and mining sectors continue to grow steadily.
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8. Low Government debt
In its October 2016 Fiscal Monitor, the IMF estimated the Australian Government’s net debt would be 21.1 per cent of GDP in 2017, well below the 72.9 per cent forecast for advanced economies as a group. Australian Government debt is predicted to fall below 20 per cent of GDP by 2020, while the average debt ratio of advanced economies will remain at about 72 per cent of GDP. The low level of public sector debt reinforces the Australian Government’s healthy financial position and sound economic credentials, and underpins its strong sovereign ratings.
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