It’s Now Been 25 Years Since the Last Australian Recession

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September 7, 2016 11:07am NYSE:AUSE NYSE:EWA

“The Land Down Under” has now gone two and a half decades since its last recession, a remarkable feat that should spur continued investor interest in the country.


Despite a slowdown in Q2, the country’s 100-quarter streak of GDP growth remained in tact. According to official data released today:

Australia’s economic growth slowed in the June quarter. Data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today show that Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew 0.5 per cent in seasonally adjusted terms in the June quarter 2016, down on the growth of 1.0 per cent the economy experienced in the March quarter. GDP grew 3.3 per cent through the year bringing the annual growth for the 2015-16 financial year to 2.9 per cent.

GDP growth in the June quarter was driven by domestic final demand, which rose 0.6 per cent this quarter, supported by ongoing growth in household and public consumption. Total investment was flat in the quarter, with the continued reduction in engineering construction associated with the mining sector offset by growth in public investment.

Since the second half of 1991, the country’s economy has weathered global recessions, stock market crashes, political turmoil, high-profile wars overseason, and much more. Yet it’s still come out smelling like a rose.

Along with China, Australia’s economic growth has been unparalleled over the past two-and-a-half decades. Its secret boils down to a combination of strong natural resources and solid leadership.

The natural resource sector has faltered lately among sharply lower commodity prices, but the country’s central bank has responded by cutting rates to increase inflation. In turn, inflation has boosted exports, helped increase tourism, and spurred demand in the housing market.

Without any real recessionary risks within view, Australia’s streak could well continue for several years, and that makes the country an attractive bet for investors.

EWA-2016-09-07

U.S.-based investors don’t need to look much further than the iShares MSCI Australia Index Fund ETF (NYSE:EWA) if they want exposure to “The Land Down Under.” The EWA is by far the largest Aussie-focused ETF, with more than ten times the assets under management as the next closest fund.

Other options in the space include the higher-yielding WisdomTree Australia Dividend Fund (NYSE:AUSE) and the small-cap focused IQ Australia Small Cap ETF (NYSE:KROO).


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