By Le Figaro with Reuters
The Australian economy contracted in the first quarter as the country was hit by large fires and the health crisis linked to the coronavirus, which caused closings of businesses and job losses, suggesting the first technical recession for three decades.
Australian gross domestic product (GDP) contracted 0.3% over the January-March period, its first decline in nine years, according to data released Wednesday by the National Bureau of Statistics (ABS). . Annual growth fell to 1.4%, the lowest since the global financial crisis of 2008-2009.
When asked if the country was already in recession, the Secretary of the Treasury replied in the affirmative. “Based on what we know in the Treasury, we are going to see a contraction in the second quarter which will be significantly larger than what we saw for the quarter ended in March,” Josh Frydenberg told reporters in Canberra.
The decline in the economy was notably caused by the fall in household consumption, with spending reduced to a large extent for clothing, the automobile and even entertainment.