Australian economy enters per capita recession amid slowing growth

Australia’s economic growth continued to slow in the December quarter, falling into a per capita recession for the first time since the mid-2000s.

Latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) revealed that the economy grew by 0.2% in seasonally adjusted chain volume terms during the quarter, below the forecasted increase of 0.3%.

This contributed to a sharply decelerating economy during the second half of the year, which slowed annual growth to 2.3%, below the 2.5% level expected.

“Growth in the economy was subdued, reflecting soft household spending and a decline in dwelling investment. The approvals for dwelling construction indicate that the decline in dwelling investment will continue,” said ABS chief economist Bruce Hockman.

Without population growth, the economy would have slipped into a recession during the December quarter in hypothetical terms.

Per capita GDP fell by 0.2% during the quarter, with Australian population growth running at 0.4% per quarter and real GDP growing by 0.2%.

Combined with a 0.1% per capita GDP decline in the prior quarter, that means Australia has officially entered a per capita recession.