The Australian Economy

In 2012 the Australian economy experienced:

In comparison, OECD (Organization for Economic Development) counterparts recorded:

In 2012 Australia was one of only eight countries to have a AAA credit rating and a stable outlook from all three major international ratings agencies.

Underpinning Australia's strong economy is its open and transparent trade and investment environment, business-friendly regulatory approach and its trade and economic links with emerging economies, particularly in Asia.

Picture of man with briefcase on travelator

Key economic indicators Australia

2002 2010 2011 2012
Demand and production - chain volume measures, reference year 2010-11
Gross domestic product(a) % change 3.9 2.6 2.4 3.7
Exports of goods & services(a) % change 0.6 5.3 -0.8 6.3
Imports of goods & services(a) % change 11.1 14.4 10.5 6.3
Labour force
Population(b) '000 19,605 22,172 22,520 22,918
Labour force(c) '000 9,901 11,806 12,004 12,150
Employed persons(c) '000 9,271 11,189 11,393 11,514
> Annual growth % 2.0 2.2 1.8 1.1
Unemployment rate(c) % 6.4 5.2 5.1 5.2
Prices and interest rates
Consumer prices % change 2.9 2.8 3.0 2.2
Interest rates - 90 day bills(c) % pa 4.7 4.7 4.8 3.7

(a) Derived from annual movements in original data.
(b) At end of period.
(c) Annual average.
Based on ABS and Reserve Bank, various catalogues.

Australia's industry structure 2012

Gross value added(a)
Employed persons(b)
$m %
share(c)
'000 %
share
Agriculture, forestry & fishing 32,219 2.3 333.5 2.9
Mining 145,398 10.6 266.4 2.3
Manufacturing 105,773 7.7 965.5 8.4
Services 976,983 71.2 9,915.6 86.1
Electricity, gas, water & waste 33,435 2.4 152.1 1.3
Construction 108,877 7.9 1,000.8 8.7
Wholesale trade 65,598 4.8 411.9 3.6
Retail trade 64,343 4.7 1,214.8 10.5
Accommodation & food services 33,507 2.4 769.6 6.7
Transport, postal & warehousing 72,379 5.3 563.5 4.9
Information, media & telecommunications 40,708 3.0 228.6 2.0
Finance & insurance 140,307 10.2 423.8 3.7
Rental, hiring & real estate 30,605 2.2 211.0 1.8
Professional, scientific & technical 94,765 6.9 910.5 7.9
Administrative & support 34,880 2.5 399.2 3.5
Public administration & safety 71,571 5.2 708.1 6.1
Education & training 61,281 4.5 889.0 7.7
Health care & social assistance 88,090 6.4 1,362.1 11.8
Arts & recreation 11,622 0.8 211.6 1.8
Other services 25,015 1.8 459.0 4.0
Ownership of dwellings 111,490 8.1
Gross value added at basic prices(d) 1,371,860 100.0
Taxes less subsidies on products 94,031
Statistical discrepancy(e) 9,315
TOTAL(d)
1,475,209
11,515 100.0

(a) The term is used to describe gross product by industry and by sector (Chain Volume Measures reference year 2010-11). Industry breakdown based on ANZSIC 2006.
(b) Derived from seasonally adjusted data on an annual average.
(c) As a share of GDP at basic prices.
(d) Basic prices are amounts received by producers, including the value of any subsidies on products, but before any taxes on products. GDP at purchasers' (market) prices is derived by adding taxes less subsidies on products to gross value added at basic prices.
(e) Production approach.
Based on ABS catalogues 5206.0, 6202.0 and 6203.0.

Investment

The government is working to secure improved conditions for Australian investors and their investments in other economies. This includes promoting a more predictable and transparent environment for investments and regulatory arrangements that are more conducive to the cross-border flow of investment.

Australian investment abroad 2012(a)

($ million)

Rank(b) Country Level of direct
investment
abroad
Total Australian
investment abroad(c)
1 United States 103,383 433,980
2 United Kingdom 56,232 217,876
3 New Zealand 44,346 77,465
4 Germany np(d) 48,871
5 Canada np(d) 42,744
6 Japan 226 39,103
7 France 972 29,747
8 Netherlands 6,031 27,798
9 Switzerland np(d) 27,483
10 Singapore 10,828 26,661
Total all countries 370,803 1,297,633
of which: APEC 229,076 735,983
ASEAN10 24,041 53,463
EU27 79,743 391,898
OECD 265,058 1,014,227

(a) Australian investment abroad: level of investment (stocks) as at 31 December 2012,
by selected country and country group
(b) Ranked on total Australian investment abroad.
(c) Includes portfolio investment.
(d) Not published
Source: ABS catalogue 5352.0.

Foreign investment in Australia 2012(a)

($ million)

Rank(b)
Country Level of direct
investment in
Australia
Level of total
investment in
Australia(c)
1 United States 131,255 617,567
2 United Kingdom 79,417 496,389
3 Japan 61,202 126,434
4 Singapore 23,823 55,938
5 Switzerland 22,527 49,234
6 Hong Kong
(SAR of China)
7,282 42,104
7 Netherlands 32,268 36,761
8 Canada 21,233 31,822
9 New Zealand 4,285 28,040
10 Luxembourg 4,265 26,289
Total all countries 549,626 2,167,673
of which: APEC 276,357 970,649
ASEAN10 32,539 80,209
EU27 155,528 646,765
OECD 398,253 1,502,406

(a) Foreign investment in Australia: level of investment (stocks) as at 31 December 2012, by selected country and country group.
(b) Ranked on level of total investment in Australia.
(c) Includes portfolio investment.
Source: ABS catalogue 5352.0.