Australia suffered an economic softening during the late 20th century due to economic reform and global recession. In particular was the Asian economic crisis, which occurred from mid-1997 to early 1999. Although the global recession centered on Asia, it effected Australia because Asia is the destination of much of Australia's exports. Economists are optimistic the economy will continue to advance because Australia's economy is one of the most resilient in the world. .
Australia has a prosperous Western-style capitalist economy. Australia is a major exporter of agricultural products, minerals, metals, and fossil fuels. Commodities account for 57% of the value of total exports. .
The government is pushing for increased exports of manufactured goods, but competition in international markets continues to be severe. After a slow start in 1998, exports rebounded in the second half of the year because of sharp currency depreciation and a redirection of sales to Europe, North America, and Latin America. .
Australia's economic growth has been described as extraordinary, averaging around 3.5% in the last five years, with forecasts of continued growth of around 4% in 2003. .
Australia suffered from low growth and high unemployment in the early 1990s, but the economy has expanded at reasonably steady rates in recent years. .
Australia's economic history.
During World War I, 60,000 Australians lost their lives. Despite this tragic loss, the war had significant economic effects on Australia. The economy was stimulated by thousands of immigrants entering the country. The manufacturing of war goods created jobs. This economic spurt continued until the Great Depression hit in the 1920s. Nearly one out of every three people lost their jobs. Australia began to recover in the 1930's until World War II erupted (Grabowski 47).
Nearly 35,000 Australians had lost their lives in WWII. The nation realized the success of their future, would depend on a strong economy and a larger population.