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The Australian economy

In 2014 the Australian economy recorded:

  • 2.7 per cent GDP growth;
  • 6.7 per cent growth in goods and services export volumes;
  • a 1.7 per cent inflation rate; and
  • an average unemployment rate of 6.1 per cent.

In comparison, Australia's Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) counterparts recorded:

  • 1.8 per cent GDP growth;
  • 3.7 per cent growth in goods and services export volumes;
  • a 1.7 per cent inflation rate; and
  • an average unemployment rate of 7.4 per cent.

Australia has experienced 24 years of uninterrupted annual economic growth, holds a AAA credit rating and sits in close proximity to the Indo-Pacific, the fastest growing region in the world. Australia's open approach to trade and investment underpins its stable, business-friendly regulatory environment.

The Australian economy is moving from growth led by significant investment in resources to growth driven by the broader economy, including services.

Key economic indicators Australia

2004 2012 2013 2014
Demand and production - chain volume measures, reference year 2012-13
Gross domestic product (a) % change 4.0 3.7 2.0 2.7
Exports of goods & services (a) % change 3.9 6.5 6.2 6.7
Imports of goods & services (a) % change 15.4 6.3 -1.8 -1.7
Labour force
Population (b) '000 20,046 22,921 23,295 23,626
Labour force (c) '000 10,103 11,973 12,146 12,310
Employed persons (c) '000 9,558 11,347 11,459 11,563
Annual growth % 1.7 1.2 1.0 0.8
Unemployment rate (c) % 5.4 5.2 5.7 6.1
Prices and interest rates
Consumer prices % change 2.4 3.0 2.2 2.7
Interest rates - 90 day bills (c) % pa 4.9 4.8 3.7 2.8

(a) Derived from annual movements in original data.
(b) At end of period.
(c) Annual average.
Based on ABS and Reserve Bank, various catalogues.

Australia's industry structure 2014

Gross value added (a) Employed persons (b)
$m % share (c) '000 % share
Agriculture, forestry & fishing 35,953 2.4 321.0 2.8
Mining 136,102 9.2 248.7 2.2
Manufacturing 98,667 6.7 924.2 8.0
Services 1,073,037 72.7 10039.9 86.9
Electricity, gas, water & waste 42,304 2.9 142.7 1.2
Construction 124,953 8.5 1031.8 8.9
Wholesale trade 61,851 4.2 387.0 3.3
Retail trade 71,144 4.8 1237.7 10.7
Accommodation & food services 37,309 2.5 790.6 6.8
Transport, postal & warehousing 72,278 4.9 592.8 5.1
Information, media & telecommunications 45,188 3.1 204.1 1.8
Finance & insurance 134,163 9.1 410.4 3.6
Rental, hiring & real estate 43,808 3.0 215.6 1.9
Professional, scientific & technical 96,487 6.5 924.5 8.0
Administrative & support 43,991 3.0 389.1 3.4
Public administration & safety 83,765 5.7 728.6 6.3
Education & training 72,718 4.9 905.1 7.8
Health care & social assistance 102,842 7.0 1,385.20 12.0
Arts & recreation 12,456 0.8 210.5 1.8
Other services 27,780 1.9 484.4 4.2
Ownership of dwellings 133,208 9.0
Gross value added at basic prices (d) 1,476,962 100
Taxes less subsidies on products 98,394
Statistical discrepancy (e) 3,614
TOTAL (d) 1,578,971 11,555 100.0

(a) The term is used to describe gross product by industry and by sector (Chain Volume Measures reference year 2011-12). Industry breakdown based on ANZSIC 2006.
(b) Derived from seasonally adjusted data on an annual average.
(c) As a share of GDP at basic prices.
(d) Basic prices are amounts received by producers, including the value of any subsidies on products, but before any taxes on products. GDP at purchasers' (market) prices is derived by adding taxes less subsidies on products to gross value added at basic prices.
(e) Production approach.
Based on ABS catalogues 5206.0, 6202.0 and 6203.0.

Last Updated: 26 November 2015
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