A resilient economy that outperforms in global rankings
Australia faced several challenges at the start of 2020. A major drought was followed by bushfires. The COVID-19 pandemic then shut international borders and dislocated trade.
The Australian economy put in an exceptional performance in 2020, despite these challenges. Australia’s resources, energy and agriculture exports kept growing. The Australian Government provided an economic stimulus package worth 15.7% of GDP to support businesses and the livelihoods of Australian workers.
An effective public health response and adherence to stringent lockdown measures minimised the transmission of the virus in the community.
The result was that Australia was less hard hit economically than other countries. Our GDP was 2.4% lower in 2020 than in 2019. This decline was far smaller than the average rate of -4.7% across advanced economies.
In financial terms, Australia remains rock-solid. The Australian public sector debt ratio will be 54% of GDP by the end of 2022. On current forecasts, this is well below the 94% average forecast for advanced economies.