Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Australia in recession for first time in 30 years

Social assistance benefits in cash also rose to a record 41.6% due to an increase in number of recipients and additional support payments.

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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.

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