Australia is entering its first recession in nearly three decades, largely due to the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said on Wednesday.
The nation's economy contracted 0.3% in the first three months of this year, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Frydenberg said he expected figures for the second quarter of 2020 to be worse.
When asked at a news conference on Wednesday whether Australia is in recession, Frydenberg replied: "Yes and that is on the basis of the advice that I have from the Treasury Department about where the June quarter is expected to be."
Experts say Australia was able to weather other serious global financial crises thanks to a combination of steady population growth, a rise in exports and the increasing importance of its service economy.
Frydenberg acknowledged the Covid-19 shutdown as the end of a 29-year run of economic growth in Australia, but praised his government's economic stimulus measures. "We have avoided the economic fate, and the health fate, of other nations because of the measures," he said.