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Australia Economy

Australia economic overview

Quality of life:

Australia boasts a prosperous, Western-style capitalist economy, with a per capita GDP among the highest in the world. The services sector accounts for the largest share of GDP, although agriculture and mining significantly contribute to exports. The country has a high standard of living and regularly ranks close to the top in global comparisons of national performance on metrics such as quality of life, health, education, economic freedom, and the protection of civil liberties and political rights.

Consistent growth:

Barring the pandemic-induced contraction in 2020, Australia's economy has experienced non-stop growth for decades, supported by pro-market economic policies, large inward migration flows and improving trade ties with a booming Asian economy.

Mining giant:

Australia is a major producer of minerals, including iron ore, coal, lithium and gold, which account for over two-thirds of total exports and 10% of GDP. That said, the services sector is still by far the largest contributor to Australia's economy, accounting for about 75% of GDP and employing the vast majority of the workforce. Major services sector include retail, finance, tourism, and professional services.

Healthy fiscal metrics:

The public debt-to-GDP ratio is well below the OECD average, and the fiscal balance was in surplus in fiscal year 2022, a rarity among advanced nations. Healthy demographics, robust economic growth and mining revenue have supported the budget balance in recent years.


Australia's large reliance on trade with China is a risk at a time when China is turning inwards economically, and tensions with the West are on the rise. Moreover, Australia is at risk from extreme weather, with wildfires and flooding becoming more widespread and damaging in recent years. In addition, Australia is not currently maximizing the value of some of its commodities—such as lithium—due to a lack of domestic refining capacity, something the government wishes to change.

Australia's economic outlook:

Australia's economic outlook is favorable, buoyed by a large and growing consumer market, abundant natural resources, and a stable economic environment, and annual GDP growth should exceed 2% in the coming years.

Australia's economy in numbers:

Nominal GDP of USD 1,721 billion in 2022.

GDP per capita of USD 65,509 compared to the global average of USD 10,589.

Average real GDP growth of 2.5% over the last decade.

Share of the region's population
Share of the region's GDP

Economic structure:

In 2021, services accounted for 72% of overall GDP, manufacturing 6%, other industrial activity 20%, and agriculture 2%. Looking at GDP by expenditure, private consumption accounted for 52% of GDP in 2021, government consumption 21%, fixed investment 23%, and net exports 4%.

GDP by economic sector
GDP by type of expenditure

International trade:

In 2021, manufactured products made up 8% of total merchandise exports, mineral fuels 28%, food 11%, ores and metals 43% and agricultural raw materials 2%, with other categories accounting for 8% of the total. In the same period, manufactured products made up 77% of total merchandise imports, mineral fuels 10%, food 6%, ores and metals 2% and agricultural raw materials 1%, with other goods accounting for 4% of the total. Total exports were worth USD 412 billion in 2022, while total imports were USD 289 billion.

Key exports
Key imports
Key export partners
Key import partners

Economic growth:

The economy recorded average annual growth of 2.5% in the decade to 2022. To read more about GDP growth in Australia, go to our dedicated page.

Fiscal policy:

Australia's fiscal deficit averaged 2.1% of GDP in the decade to 2023. Find out more on our dedicated page.


The unemployment rate averaged 5.5% in the decade to 2022. For more information on Australia's unemployment click here.


Inflation averaged 2.3% in the decade to 2022. Go to our Australia inflation page for extra insight.

Monetary Policy:

Australia's monetary policy rate ended 2022 at 3.10%, up from 3.00% a decade earlier. See our Australia monetary policy page for additional details.

Exchange Rate:

From end-2012 to end-2022 the Australian dollar weakened by 42.9% vs the U.S. dollar. For more info on the Australian dollar, click here.
Sequential GDP growth cooled in Q3 amid flatlining household spending, slower fixed investment growth and a slump in exports. The economy likely remained on a soft patch in the fourth quarter, according to our panel, weighed down by rising interest rates. Business sentiment deteriorated, while consumer sentiment gained only marginal ground and stayed pessimistic. Additionally, PMI readings signaled contractions in both the manufacturing and services sectors. Moreover, the labor market continued to slacken, as indicated by declining job vacancies in the three months leading up to December and a rising unemployment rate. Furthermore, retail sales shrank quarter on quarter. More positively, the pace of contractions of merchandise exports softened. At the outset of Q1, January’s data on stronger business and consumer sentiment and PMIs boded well for activity.
Projections out to 2033.

47 indicators covered including both annual and quarterly frequencies.

Consensus Forecasts based on a panel of 35 expert analysts.

Want to get insight on the economic outlook for Australia in the coming years? FocusEconomics collects projections out to 2033 on 47 economic indicators for Australia from a panel of 35 analysts at the leading national, regional and global forecast institutions. These projections are then validated by our in-house team of economists and data analysts, and averaged to provide one Consensus Forecast you can rely on for each indicator. This means you avoid the risk of relying on out of date, biased or outlier forecasts. Our Consensus Forecasts can be visualized in whichever way best suits your needs, including via interactive online dashboards , direct data delivery and executive-style reports which combine analysts' projections with timely written analysis from our in-house team of economists on the latest developments in the Australia economy. To download a sample report on the Australia's economy, click here . To get in touch with our team for more information, fill in the form at the bottom of this page .

Australia Economic Data

2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Population (million) 25.1 25.5 25.6 25.8 26.3
GDP (USD bn) 1,418 1,388 1,363 1,656 1,721
GDP per capita (USD) 56,372 54,406 53,161 64,272 65,525
GDP (AUD bn) 1,898 1,998 1,979 2,207 2,483
GDP per capita (AUD) 75,494 78,278 77,213 85,618 94,511
Economic Growth (Nominal GDP, ann. var. %) 5.3 5.2 -0.9 11.5 12.5
Economic Growth (GDP, ann. var. %) 2.8 1.8 -2.1 5.6 3.8
Private Consumption (ann. var. %) 2.5 0.9 -6.1 5.3 6.6
Government Consumption (ann. var. %) 4.0 6.5 7.7 5.7 5.0
Business Investment (ann. var. %) 2.6 -0.7 -3.5 9.2 6.2
Dwelling Investment (ann. var. %) 4.3 -7.0 -4.4 9.4 -4.0
Fixed Investment (ann. var. %) 2.3 -2.4 -2.4 10.7 2.2
Exports (G&S, ann. var. %) 5.1 3.2 -9.9 -2.2 2.5
Imports (G&S, ann. var. %) 4.3 -0.7 -12.0 4.8 12.8
Industrial Production (ann. var. %) 4.3 2.6 -1.0 -0.2 -0.7
Retail Sales (ann. var. %) 3.0 2.7 6.7 5.3 11.3
Wages (ann. var. %) 2.2 2.3 1.7 2.0 2.9
Unemployment (% of active population, eop) 5.0 5.0 6.6 4.1 3.5
Unemployment (% of active population, aop) 5.3 5.2 6.5 5.1 3.7
Fiscal Balance (% of GDP) -0.5 0.0 -4.3 -6.4 -1.4
Public Debt (% of GDP) 41.8 46.7 57.2 55.9 50.7
Inflation (CPI, ann. var. %, eop) 1.8 1.8 0.9 3.5 7.8
Inflation (CPI, ann. var. %, aop) 1.9 1.6 0.8 2.9 6.6
Inflation (PPI, ann. var. %, aop) 1.8 1.8 0.1 2.2 5.7
RBA Cash Rate (%, eop) 1.50 0.75 0.10 0.10 3.10
90-Day Bank Bill (%, eop) 2.02 0.90 0.02 0.06 3.17
10-Year Bond Yield (%, eop) 2.32 1.36 0.97 1.67 4.03
Stock Market (ann. var. of ASX %) -7.4 19.1 0.7 13.6 -7.2
Exchange Rate (USD per AUD, eop) 0.70 0.70 0.77 0.73 0.68
Exchange Rate (USD per AUD, aop) 0.75 0.70 0.69 0.75 0.69
Current Account Balance (USD bn) -31.4 5.0 29.9 48.4 18.3
Current Account Balance (% of GDP) -2.2 0.4 2.2 2.9 1.1
Foreign Direct Investment (USD bn) 67.6 38.9 13.6 20.9 61.6


  1. What is the future of the Australian economy?

  2. Australia is expected to continue benefiting from rapid population growth and its strong natural resource sector, but economic performance will depend on diversification efforts, trade relationships, and measures to address economic challenges like income inequality and climate change. Investing in innovation, education, and infrastructure will be crucial for driving long-term economic prosperity.

  3. Why is Australia so successful?

  4. Australia's success can be attributed to various factors, including its stable political environment, skilled workforce, abundant natural resources, strong institutions, and open market policies.

  5. Is Australia headed for a recession?

  6. Australia's economy faces uncertainty amid global trade tensions, a waning Chinese economy and stubborn price pressures. Despite these challenges, economic growth is expected in 2023 and 2024, and the Australian economy should avoid recession.

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