Economy overview: Australia has a thriving Western-style capitalist economy with a GDP per capita comparable to that of the four leading Western European nations. Australia, with its rich natural resources, is a major exporter of agricultural products, minerals, steel products and fossil fuels. Consumer goods make up 57% of exports, so a decline in world commodity prices could have a significant impact on the economy. The government is supporting increased exports of manufactured goods, but competition in the international market continues to be high. If in the early 1990s Australia suffered from low economic growth and high unemployment, which was typical for OECD countries at that time, as well as from recent financial difficulties in East Asia, then over the past five years, the economy has been showing a stable 4% annual growth. Canberra’s commitment to reform is key to the viability of the Australian economy in the face of the regional crisis and to the country’s better-than-expected economic growth. Economic growth in 2001 will depend on the prices of consumer goods in foreign markets, the degree of economic recovery in nearby Asian countries, and the stability of the US and European markets. See businesscarriers.com to know more about Australia Economics and Business.
GDP: Purchasing Power Parity $445.8 billion (2000 est.)
Real GDP growth rate: 4.7% (2000 est.).
GDP per capita: Purchasing Power Parity $23,200 (2000 est.)
The composition of GDP by sectors of the economy: agriculture 3%; industry 26%; services 71% (1999 est.).
Proportion of the population below the poverty line: no data available.
Percentage distribution of family income or consumption: per 10% of the poorest families 2%; 10% of the wealthiest families 25A% (1994).
Inflation rate at consumer prices: 1.4% (2000 est.).
Labor force: 9.5 million people (December 1999).
Employment structure: services 73%, industry 22%, agriculture 5% (1997 est.).
Unemployment rate: 6.4% (2000)
Budget: Revenues: $94 billion; expenditures: $103 billion, including capital expenditures – NA (1999 est.).
Spheres of economy: mining industry, production of industrial and transport equipment, food industry, production of chemicals, steel industry.
Growth in industrial production: 1.5% (1999 est.).
Electricity generation: 191.727 Mbillion kWh (1999).
Sources of electricity generation: fossil fuels: 89.93%; hydropower: 8.36%; nuclear fuel: 0%; others: 1.71% (1999).
Electricity consumption: 178.306 billion kWh (1999).
Electricity export: 0 kWh (1999).
Electricity import: 0 kWh (1999).
Agricultural products: wheat, barley, sugarcane, fruits; cattle, sheep, poultry.
Exports: $69 billion (free on board, 2000 est.)
Exports: coal, gold, meat, wool, alumina, iron ore, wheat, machinery and transport equipment.
Export partners: Japan 19%, EU 14%, ASEAN 12%, US 9%, South Korea, New Zealand, Taiwan, Hong Kong, China (1999).
Imports: $77 billion (free on board, 2000 est.)
Import articles: mechanisms and transport equipment, computers and office equipment, equipment for telecommunications and components; crude oil and petroleum products.
Import partners: EU 24%, US 22%, Japan 14%, ASEAN 13% (1999).
External debt: $220.6 billion (2000)
Economic Aid Donor: Official Development Support $1.43 billion (FY97-98).
Currency: Australian dollar.
Currency code: AUD.
Exchange rate: AUD / USD – 1.7995 (January 2001), 1.7173 (2000), 1.5497 (1999), 1.5888 (1998), 1.3439 (1997), 1.2773 (1996).
Fiscal year: July 1 – June 30.
Telecommunications Telephone lines: 9.58 million (1998).
Mobile cell phones: 6.4 million (1998).
Telephone system: excellent domestic and international service; Internal: internal satellite system; International: submarine cables to New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia; ground satellite stations – 10 Intelsat stations (4 Indian Ocean and 6 Pacific Ocean), 2 Inmarsat stations (Indian and Pacific Ocean region).
Broadcast stations: AM – 262, FM – 345, shortwave – 1 (1998).
Radio receivers: 25.5 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations: 104 (1997).
Televisions: 10.15 million (1997)
Internet country code: au
Internet Service Providers: 246 (2000).
Number of users: 7.77 million people (2000
Transport Railways: Total: 33,819 km (2,540 km electrified); broad gauge: 3,719 km (1,600 m gauge); with standard gauge: 15,422 km (1.435 m gauge); narrow gauge: 14,506 km (1.067 m gauge); dual gauge: 172 km (no data on gauge) (1999).
Roads: Total: 913,000 km, paved: 353,331 km (including 1,363 km of expressways); unpaved: 559,669 km (1996)
Waterways: 8,368 km; used mainly by small craft with shallow draft.
Pipelines: for crude oil -2,500 km; for oil products -500 km; for natural gas -5,600 km.
Ports and harbours: Adelaide, Brisbane, Darwin, Devonport (Tasmania), Geelong, Cairns, Launceston (Tasmania), Mackay, Melbourne, Sydney, Townsville, Fremantle, Hobart (Tasmania).
Merchant Navy: Total: 54 vessels (displacement 1,000 tons or more) with a total displacement of 1,558,371 gross register tons / 2,038,776 long tons of gross tonnage; different types of ships: bulk carriers 26, cargo ships 3, chemical tankers 5, container ships 1, liquefied gas carriers 4, passenger ships 2, oil tankers 7, ferries 6 (2000 est.).
Airports: 411 (2000 est.).
Airports with paved runways: total: 271; over 3,047 m: 10; from 2 433 to Z 047 m:12; from 1,524 to 2,437 m: 118; from 914 to 1523 m: 122; less than 914 m: 9 (2000 est.).
Airports with unpaved runways: total: 140; from 1,524 TO 2,437 M: 17; from 914 to 1523 m: 112; less than 914 m: 11 (2000 est.).
Branches of the Armed Forces: Australian Army, Royal Australian Navy, Royal Australian Air Force.
Enlistment age: 17 years old.
Total Military Manpower: Male 15 to 49 4,990,107 (2001 est.).
Eligible for military service: men aged 15 to 49 4,303,966 (2001 est.).
Number of persons reaching military age each year: men 138,971 (2001 est.).
Military spending in dollar terms: $6.9 billion (FY98-99)
Military spending as part of GDP: 1.9% (FY98-99)
International Issues International Disputes: Territorial Claims in Antarctica (Australian Antarctic Territory).
Illicit Drugs: Tasmania is a major source of legal opiates; the government strictly controls the areas where opium poppy is cultivated and the production of poppy straw concentrate.