Table of Contents

  • The Survey is published on the responsibility of the Economic and Development Review Committee, which is charged with the examination of the economic situation of member countries. The economic situation and policies of Australia were reviewed by the Committee on 29th October 2018. The draft was revised in the light of the discussion and given final approval as the agreed report of the whole Committee on 8th November 2018. This Survey was prepared in the Economics Department by Philip Hemmings and Urban Sila under the supervision of Patrick Lenain. Damien Azzopardi provided the statistical research assistance and Stephanie Henry provided editorial support. The Survey also benefited from contributions by ValĂ©ry Dugain, consultant.The previous Survey of Australia was issued in March 2017.Information on other Surveys and how surveys are prepared is available at

  • Australia's long span of positive output growth continues, demonstrating the economy's resilience to shocks (Figure A). The labour market has been equally resilient, with rising employment and labour-force participation. Life is good, with high levels of well being, including health, and education.

  • With 27 years of positive economic growth, Australia has demonstrated a remarkable capacity to sustain steady increases in material living standards and absorb economic shocks. During the global financial crisis, comparatively limited exposure, but also good economic management, saw output growth hold up well (Figure 1). Also, the economy's adjustment in the wake of the commodity super-cycle has been reasonably smooth. This good macroeconomic performance has strengthened the country's standing in terms of GDP per capita (Figure 1). Furthermore, scores are favourable on many other indicators of well-being. Australia performs particularly well in health status, ranking first among OECD countries with life expectancy of 82.5 years compared with an OECD average of 80.1 years and a high score in self-reported health (Figure 2). It also scores well in terms of air pollution, ranking 5th in the OECD, subjective well-being and social connections (both 7th place in the rankings). Immigration has played a fundamental role in the demographic, economic and cultural development of Australia, and continues to do so with broadly successful integration of new migrants.