Economic indicators: Fraser to Rudd/Gillard Government

Political parties Local government Economics Industries Australia
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This research paper summarises the performance of the economy during each Government from Fraser through to Rudd/Gillard (up to March 2013) by providing period averages across a range of economic indicators. Though this approach has its limitations, it provides a useful overview and means of comparing the different Governments. The paper updates previous papers released by the Parliamentary Library.


From the Fraser through to the Rudd/Gillard Governments, there has been significant movement across a range of economic indicators. This is to be expected over a period which has seen a mining boom, two major recessions and the Global Financial Crisis. Some of the leading indicators that stand out are:

  • high unemployment under the Hawke/Keating Government
  • low inflation under the Howard Government that continued under the Rudd/Gillard Government
  • lower economic growth under the Rudd/Gillard Government compared to the Hawke/Keating and Howard Governments
  • high Commonwealth net debt (as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product) under the Hawke/Keating Government
  • a low household savings ratio under the Howard Government compared to other Governments and
  • an average positive underlying cash balance for the Howard Government, with negative average underlying cash balances for the Fraser, Hawke/Keating and Rudd/Gillard Governments.

Authored by Alicia Hall, Alan Payne, Elouise Roberts and Guy Woods.

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