Australia Celebrates 25 Years Since Last Recession

Australia marked 25 years without a recession in the second quarter, another step closer to the Dutch record for the longest developed-economy expansion of recent decades, The Wall Street Journal reported. The economy grew 0.5% in the second quarter from the first and by 3.3% from a year earlier—the fastest pace in four years, pushed by spending on housing and public investment, government data showed Wednesday. The data also show, though, that growth increasingly relies on policy makers’ pulling out all the stops as the economy tries to reinvent itself. “Australia’s growth trajectory is all the more remarkable given the strong headwinds from the mining and commodity downturn,” said Michael Blythe, chief economist at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, adding that he expects Australia to eclipse the Netherlands’ 26.5-year expansion, which ran from 1981 to 2008. Over the 25 years, Australia’s economy has pushed back threats ranging from the Asian banking crisis in the late 1990s to the global financial crisis in 2008 to a commodities-price plunge of recent years and a slowdown in China, its largest trading partner. Read more. (Subscription required.)