The Australian economy contracted 0.3 per cent in 2019-20

Media Release

The Australian economy contracted 0.3 per cent in 2019-20, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today. Head of National Accounts at the ABS, Michael Smedes said: “Australia's annual economic activity fell for the first time since 1990-91, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic ended 28 years of consecutive growth".

A fall in household consumption detracted 1.6 percentage points from GDP, recording the first annual fall since 1959-60. Private investment detracted 0.8 percentage points with reduced investment on dwellings and machinery and equipment. Public demand contributed 1.4 percentage points to growth, with ongoing spending on health and social services.

The Annual National Accounts provides further insights on the structure of the economy, using the latest economy wide supply and use data. Mr Smedes, added: "In 2019-20 the largest industries in the Australian economy were Mining, Financial and Insurance Services, Health Care and Social Assistance and Construction, representing over a third of the economy. The Mining industry continued to expand, recording its 16th consecutive annual growth, which reflected increased oil and gas production".

The annual accounts also provide key indicators from balance sheets and productivity estimates. Australia’s labour productivity rose 0.5 per cent in 2019-20, below its 10 year average of 1.0 per cent, with falls recorded in 11 out of 19 industries. 

Household net worth increased $485 billion to $11.1 trillion in 2019-20, with a $91 billion increase in cash and deposits and $375 billion increase in land value. 

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