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Australia Economy

Australia    Economy Top of Page
Economy - overview: Australia has a prosperous Western-style capitalist economy, with a per capita GDP at the level of the four dominant West European economies. Rich in natural resources, Australia is a major exporter of agricultural products, minerals, metals, and fossil fuels. Commodities account for 57% of the value of total exports, so that a downturn in world commodity prices can have a big impact on the economy. The government is pushing for increased exports of manufactured goods, but competition in international markets continues to be severe. While Australia has suffered from the low growth and high unemployment characterizing the OECD countries in the early 1990s and during the recent financial problems in East Asia, the economy has expanded at a solid 4% annual growth pace in the last five years. Canberra's emphasis on reforms is a key factor behind the economy's resilience to the regional crisis and its stronger than expected growth rate. Growth in 2001 will depend on key international commodity prices, the extent of recovery in nearby Asian economies, and the strength of US and European markets.
GDP: purchasing power parity - $445.8 billion (2000 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 4.7% (2000 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $23,200 (2000 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture:  3%

industry:  26%

services:  71% (1999 est.)
Population below poverty line: NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%:  2%

highest 10%:  25.4% (1994)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 1.4% (2000 est.)
Labor force: 9.5 million (December 1999)
Labor force - by occupation: services 73%, industry 22%, agriculture 5% (1997 est.)
Unemployment rate: 6.4% (2000)
Budget: revenues:  $94 billion

expenditures:  $103 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1999 est.)
Industries: mining, industrial and transportation equipment, food processing, chemicals, steel
Industrial production growth rate: 1.5% (1999 est.)
Electricity - production: 191.727 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel:  89.93%

hydro:  8.36%

nuclear:  0%

other:  1.71% (1999)
Electricity - consumption: 178.306 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (1999)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (1999)
Agriculture - products: wheat, barley, sugarcane, fruits; cattle, sheep, poultry
Exports: $69 billion (f.o.b., 2000 est.)
Exports - commodities: coal, gold, meat, wool, alumina, iron ore, wheat, machinery and transport equipment
Exports - partners: Japan 19%, EU 14%, ASEAN 12%, US 9%, South Korea, NZ, Taiwan, Hong Kong, China (1999)
Imports: $77 billion (f.o.b., 2000 est.)
Imports - commodities: machinery and transport equipment, computers and office machines, telecommunication equipment and parts; crude oil and petroleum products
Imports - partners: EU 24%, US 22%, Japan 14%, ASEAN 13% (1999)
Debt - external: $220.6 billion (2000)
Economic aid - donor: ODA, $1.43 billion (FY97/98)
Currency: Australian dollar (AUD)
Currency code: AUD
Exchange rates: Australian dollars per US dollar - 1.7995 (January 2001), 1.7173 (2000), 1.5497 (1999), 1.5888 (1998), 1.3439 (1997), 1.2773 (1996)
Fiscal year: 1 July - 30 June


Countryfacts Information Courtesy: CIA Worldbook

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