Australia has slumped into its first recession in 30 years after the effects of the bushfires and COVID-19 have battered the nation’s economy.
Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg yesterday admitted that the country is in recession bringing an end to Australia’s three-decade-long period of economic growth.
Figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that the first quarter of 2020 only saw a drop of 0.3 per cent in GDP, however, it is predicted that the June quarter will see a much more drastic fall, as the full devastation of the coronavirus crisis is revealed.
The June quarter, the economic impact will be severe. Far more severe than what we have seen today.Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg
However, as Australia was standing on the “edge of an economic cliff” just months ago, the treasurer praised the country’s response to the pandemic which has wreaked havoc across the globe.
Less than 100 days ago the number of coronavirus cases was increasing by more than 20% per day, tough decisions had to be taken.Josh Frydenberg
Frydenberg says the consequences of the strict social distancing and lockdown laws “hit the economy hard”, but ultimately saved lives, and cited other countries that Australia was facing a similar predicament to.
“Saving lives was our priority, and that has been the result. While, tragically, 102 people have died as a result of the coronavirus, it stands in stark contrast to the United States, where more than 100,000 people have lost their lives, and the United Kingdom, where around 40,000 people have lost their lives,” he said.
Over the last 12 months, Australia’s economy has grown 1.4 per cent, indicating the worst figure since the 2009 global financial crisis.