What Lessons From Australia’s Economic Winning Streak? – by Anthony Fensom (The Diplomat – September 19, 2016)


What can other countries learn from Australia’s 25 years of uninterrupted growth?

If the Olympics handed out medals for economic performance, Australia’s surely would be golden after 25 straight years of growth. What lessons might the land Down Under and the rest of the region learn from this record winning streak?

The record was officially confirmed on September 7, with the release of June quarter gross domestic product (GDP) data showing a quarterly gain of 0.5 percent and an annualized rise of 3.3 percent for the world’s 12th largest economy. As the Washington Post noted, “The last time Australia had a recession, the Clintons had never run for president, Donald Trump had never had a business go bankrupt, and the Soviet Union was still a country.”

Although the Netherlands still holds the official record winning streak, having avoided recession from 1981 to 2008, the U.S. daily pointed out that Australia is now running the Dutch very close.

Australian Treasurer Scott Morrison said the nation’s economy “is growing faster than every G7 economy, well over twice as fast as the United States and Canada and well above the OECD average.”

The treasurer pointed to improved household consumption, public and dwelling investment spending, “more than offsetting the continued and expected decline in resources investment” following the end of the nation’s China-driven mining boom.

However, he also noted the nation’s terms of trade – the ratio of export prices compared to imports – were 34 percent below their peak, remaining at 10-year lows, along with sluggish wages and nominal GDP growth.

“It is simply not enough to presume our exceptional run of growth will continue or that another unprecedented boost in commodity prices will alleviate our budgetary constraints,” Morrison warned.

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