October 15, 2018

The World’s First Immigration Economy

“Since the global financial crisis of 2008 to 2009, the U.S. economy has chalked up nine years of solid growth. That’s 36 consecutive quarters of GDP moving in the right direction, which amounts to the second-longest run in U.S. history. If the growth continues for just one more year, it will unseat the boom of 1990s to become the longest.

That’s impressive. But if you’re looking for a developed country that seems to be entirely recession-proof, go to Australia. Australia has enjoyed 27 years of uninterrupted growth since its last recession—108 consecutive quarters of economic expansion and counting.

A few developing countries such as China can match that record, of course, but no other developed economy even comes close. When even China started to slow down in 2012, it raised fears among commodity exporters like Australia. Iron and coal are Australia’s top two exports, and China is their No. 1 destination. But even then, Australia’s GDP growth merely slowed from 3.9 percent in 2012 to 2.6 percent in 2013. Other developed countries might be thrilled just to reach 2.6 percent in the first place.

But Australia’s extraordinary economic statistics mask a more difficult economic reality. At the lowest point in the spring and summer of 2013, Australia’s quarterly growth rates fell to 1.7 percent. At the same time, Australia’s population was growing at an annualized rate of 1.8 percent. Measured in per capita terms, then, Australia’s economy actually shrank for two consecutive quarters.”

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