Recession over, still ground to make up

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has warned recession may be over, but Australia’s economic recovery still has a lot of ground to make up.

The Australian economy has emerged from its first recession since the early 1990s, growing by 3.3 per cent in the September quarter.

However, this still left the annual rate at minus 3.8 per cent after a seven per cent contraction in the June quarter, the national accounts for the September quarter released on Wednesday show.

Economists’ forecasts had centred on a 2.5 per cent rise for the quarter.

“Australia’s recession may be over, but Australia’s economic recovery is not,” Mr Frydenberg told reporters in Canberra.

“There is a lot of ground to make up and many Australian households and many Australian businesses are doing it tough – very tough.”

Household spending contributed four percentage points, as coronavirus restrictions lifted over the period across most states and territories, the Australian Bureau of Statistics figures showed.

The household saving to income ratio declined from its record high last quarter, but remains elevated at 18.9 per cent.

The fall was driven by the partial recovery in household consumption, which outpaced income growth.

Household disposable income grew 3.4 per cent as economic activity increased.

Private investment fell 0.2 per cent over the quarter, with increased housing investment activity offset by a three point dip in business investment.

“Today’s national accounts can give Australians cause for optimism and hope,” Mr Frydenberg.

“The road ahead will be long, hard and bumpy. But the Australian economy has demonstrated its remarkable resilience and Australia is as well positioned as any other nation on earth.”

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