Wildfires Will Test Australia’s Leading Streak Without a Recession

Natural disasters are unpredictable events with broadly predictable results: a destruction of property and wealth, but no lasting impact on economic growth, The Wall Street Journal reported. Australia’s wildfires, which have ravaged more than 26,000 square miles of land and killed at least 30 people, will be the latest big test of that view. At stake is the country’s 28-year run without a recession—the longest ongoing streak in the developed world. Natural disasters inflict immediate pain on an economy because they disrupt activity, stopping consumers from going to shops and shuttering businesses for a time. Later comes a growth kick as damaged infrastructure and wrecked buildings get rebuilt. In Australia’s New South Wales state, more than 2,000 homes have been destroyed by fires that have torn through an area the size of West Virginia, mostly in the past couple of months. Read more