Australia’s gross domestic product (GDP) fell 7.0% in the June quarter, the largest quarterly fall on record according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today.
The figure follows a fall of 0.3% in the March quarter this year, Xinhua news agency reported.
This means that Australia has fallen into recession for the first time in nearly 30 years, according to a report by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
Michael Smedes, head of national accounts at ABS, attributed the quarterly fall to “global pandemic and associated containment policies”.
“This is, by a wide margin, the largest fall in quarterly GDP since records began in 1959,” he said.
Reports from ABS also show that social assistance benefits in cash rose to a record 41.6% due to an increase in number of recipients and additional support payments.
Spending on services dropped 17.6% after a decrease in transport services, operation of vehicles and hotels, cafes and restaurants.
“The June quarter saw a significant contraction in household spending on services as households altered their behaviour and restrictions were put in place to contain the spread of the coronavirus,” said Smedes.