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Australia - Open Map
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Economy

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 2000 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 - $416.2 billion (1999 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 4.3% (1999 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $22,200 (1999 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 3%
industry: 26%
services: 71% (1998 est.)

Population below poverty line: NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 2.5%
highest 10%: 24.8% (1989)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 1.8% (1999 est.)

Labor force: 8.9 million (December 1999)

Labor force - by occupation: services 73%, industry 22%, agriculture 5% (1997 est.)

Unemployment rate: 7.5% (1999)

Budget:
revenues: $90.73 billion
expenditures: $89.04 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (FY98/99 est.)

Industries: mining, industrial and transportation equipment, food processing, chemicals, steel

Industrial production growth rate: 1.5% (1999 est.)

Electricity - production: 186.387 billion kWh (1998)

Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 89.85%
hydro: 8.35%
nuclear: 0%
other: 1.8% (1998)

Electricity - consumption: 173.34 billion kWh (1998)

Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (1998)

Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (1998)

Agriculture - products: wheat, barley, sugarcane, fruits; cattle, sheep, poultry

Exports: $58 billion (f.o.b., 1999 est.)

Exports - commodities: coal, gold, meat, wool, alumina, iron ore, wheat, machinery and transport equipment

Exports - partners: Japan 20%, EU 14%, ASEAN 11%, US 10%, South Korea, NZ, Taiwan, Hong Kong, China (1998)

Imports: $67 billion (f.o.b., 1999 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 12% (1998)

Debt - external: $222 billion (1999)

Economic aid - donor: ODA, $1.43 billion (FY97/98)

Currency: 1 Australian dollar ($A) = 100 cents

Exchange rates: Australian dollars ($A) per US$1 - 1.52068 (January 2000), 1.5497 (1999), 1.5888 (1998), 1.3439 (1997), 1.2773 (1996), 1.3486 (1995)

Fiscal year: 1 July - 30 June



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