Australia enters first recession since 1990s, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg confirms after GDP data

author-avatar By on June 03, 2020
Australia enters first recession since 1990s, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg confirms after GDP data

It appears all the toilet paper panic buying in the world couldn't save the economy, with Treasurer Josh Frydenberg confirming Australia is in a recession.

Following the release of today's GDP data, Mr Frydenberg was asked by a journalist in parliament, "Is Australia in recession today?"

"Well, the answer to that is yes," Mr Frydenberg said.

"And that is on the basis of the advice that I have from the Treasury Department about where the June quarter is expected to be."

Mr Frydenberg said that while the March quarter saw a 0.3% drop in GDP, he expects the June quarter will see a much more substantial fall.

"Based on what we know from Treasury, we're going to see a contraction in the June quarter which is going to be a lot more substantial than what we have seen in the March quarter," Mr Frydenberg said.

"The economic impact will be severe. Far more severe than what we have seen today. That's what Treasury's advice to me is."

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The popular definition of a recession is two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth and it appears Treasury does not need to wait until the June quarter to state the obvious. 

It marks the first time Australia has entered into a recession since the 1990s. 

The Australian Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday said a collapse in consumer spending had contributed to the result.

“This was the slowest through-the-year growth since September 2009 when Australia was in the midst of the Global Financial Crisis and captures just the beginning of the expected economic effects of COVID-19," ABS Chief economist Bruce Hockman said.

More to come...


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author-avatar
Emma joined Savings.com.au as a Finance Journalist in 2019. She is a journalist with more than five years experience across print, broadcast and digital media, with previous stints at Style Magazines, 4ZZZ radio, and as editor of The Real Estate Conversation. She's most passionate about improving the financial literacy of young women and millennials by writing about complex financial topics in a way that's easy for the average Joe (or Jill) to understand. When she's not writing about finance she's watching Greys Anatomy (again).

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