Australia’s recent dismal economic management is revealed dramatically when outcomes are compared with the rest of the world. Alan Austin updates the sad and sorry decline.
THE LIES are now coming thick and fast. Last Saturday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison sent an election campaign email (echoed on the Liberal Party website) claiming that only his Government had:
‘... a plan to maintain Budget surpluses, pay down Labor’s debt and lower your taxes’.
They have had more than five years. They have done the opposite, as the hard, cold facts affirm.
So here is a ready reckoner of the wreckage, with links to the actual data. This may help counter the continuing crocks about the Coalition’s economic "credentials".
Australia’s budget deficit as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2013 was -1.2%. Pretty good, given the global conditions. That ranked ninth in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the club of 36 wealthy, developed economies.
Six budgets later, Australia is still in deficit, with only the promise of a surplus in June next year.
Meanwhile, as the current global boom in investment, growth, jobs and profits has accelerated, nearly half the OECD countries have moved into surplus. Australia’s ranking on budget shortfalls collapsed to 27th in 2017. It will be about 20th in 2018, pending final figures.
By 2013, after moderate borrowing in order to stave off recession during the global financial crisis, Australia’s debt was 16.8% of GDP. That was third lowest in the OECD with only Chile and Estonia lower.
Since 2013, many OECD members have reduced their gross debt and some have increased it slightly. Only three have increased it by more than ten per cent of GDP. Of these poorly managed economies – Australia, Mexico and Chile – Australia’s blow-out has been the worst, at 11.6% of GDP. Australia’s debt now ranks eighth in the OECD.
Claiming Labor is the party of higher taxes is a malicious falsehood.
At the time of the 2013 election, Australia’s jobless rate was 5.71%. That ranked sixth lowest in the OECD according to the data from Trading Economics.
The World Bank DataBase, which uses slightly different measures, ranked Australia eighth lowest from 2009 to 2013.
As the current global jobs boom has advanced, Australia’s ranking has slipped steadily, even though raw job numbers have improved. Australia now ranks a dismal 18th in the OECD on both tables.
In 2013, 122,400 workers aged 15 to 19 were unemployed, a rate of 16.4%. This ranked ninth among developed countries. The number is now up to 151,000 and the rate is 18.1%, which ranks 21st — the worst ever.
“Australia is stronger than it was when we came to Government six years ago — growth is higher.”
This is the direct opposite of the truth. Relative to Australia’s trading partners and competitors, the economy is weaker than it has ever been.
Annual GDP growth for the latest quarter, Q4 in 2018, was 2.34%. This ranked 113th out of 183 countries in the world, and 18th among the 36 OECD members. These are Australia’s lowest rankings ever.
Australia was in the top six OECD countries by annual growth through most of the Labor years, and first in 2009.
Wages rose in 2012-13 by 2.8%. That ranked seventh in the OECD. This year, wages are rising at 2.3%. That ranks 20th.
The following items compare data at the time of the 2013 election with the latest outcomes:
Gross domestic product per capita
Gross national savings
Also using IMF tables, this is now down from ninth to an appalling 19th.
Mean wealth per adult
Up from the fourth highest in 2013, relative to gross domestic product, to the second highest today, behind only Switzerland.
On this critical measure of the equality of wealth distribution, Australia is down from 12th to 28th.
Outlays were 23.9% of GDP in Labor’s last year. As a percentage of GDP, that ranked fifth most restrained in the OECD. Spending has been higher every year since — now ranking eighth.
Growth in the volume of exports of goods and services: down from fourth to 18th.
According to Heritage Foundation, Australia’s OECD ranking is down from first to third.
Value of the Aussie dollar
The dollar has tumbled from 5.65 Chinese yuan in 2013 to 4.73 as this is written. It has collapsed from 92 U.S. cents to 70.2 cents. It is down from 91.3 Japanese yen to 78.0 yen, and from 116 Kiwi cents to 105 cents.
Ranking on the IAREM
In 2013, Australia’s economy was the best-performed in the world by a significant margin. It had been the best since 2009. This has been affirmed by many independent economists and world leaders. It now ranks 21st in the world on the IAREM, a multi-factorial measure of overall economic management.
Scott Morrison wrote in his Saturday email (and on the Liberal Party website):
‘The Labor Party has shown that they cannot manage money. If you can’t manage money, you can’t run the country.’
All the actual data shows that it is the Coalition, not Labor, which cannot manage the economy. The difference is not marginal. It is the difference between best in the world and 21st.
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