A resilient economy that outperforms in global rankings
The Australian economy put in an exceptional performance in 2019–20, despite huge challenges. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic arrived, the economy hit major headwinds. A major drought was followed by bushfires. Global lockdowns then shut borders and dislocated trade.
Our diverse economy has kept us strong. Australia’s resources, energy and agriculture exports kept growing. A fiscal stimulus equivalent to 18% of GDP helped sustain households and businesses. And an effective public health response stemmed community transmission.
Decisive action helped the Australian economy to outperform, according to global comparisons. Australian GDP was 2.4% lower in 2020 than in 2019. This decline was far smaller than the average across advanced economies.
In financial terms, Australia remains rock-solid. The Australian public sector debt ratio will be just 49% of GDP by the end of 2021. On current forecasts, this will be one of the lowest among developed economies.