By Stephen Johnson and Charlie Moore, Political Reporter For Daily Mail Australia
Published: 23:13 BST, 1 September 2020 | Updated: 23:41 BST, 1 September 2020
Australia's first recession in almost 30 years is set to be confirmed on Wednesday.
Figures for the June quarter are expected to show the worst economic downturn since the 1930s Great Depression, with economists forecasting a five per cent contraction from the coronavirus pandemic.
The national account data is set to confirm a technical recession for the first time since mid-1991, after a 0.3 per cent decline in gross domestic product in the March quarter.
Until today, Australia officially held a 29-year world record for avoiding a recession.
Australia's first recession in almost 30 years is set to be confirmed on Wednesday. Pictured: Police in locked-down Melbourne
CommSec chief economist Craig James is expecting the Australian Bureau of Statistics data to show a 5.4 per cent plunge in economic activity during the June quarter - the sharpest fall in more than 60 years.
Up until the 1991 recession, Australia had suffered an economic contraction several times a decade, on average.
A prolonged recession that began in September 1982 lasted a year, during a period of prolonged drought and the devastating Ash Wednesday bushfires in Victoria and South Australia. That followed another recession in 1981.
Another recession also occurred in 1977, during an era of widespread strikes.
The economy also took a beating in the final two quarters of 1975, when Governor-General Sir John Kerr dismissed Gough Whitlam as Labor Prime Minister.
A recession also occurred in late 1971 and early 1972, several months before Billy McMahon lost the election, ending 23 years of Coalition rule.
A credit squeeze also sparked another recession during the June and September quarters of 1961, ending only two months before then Prime Minister Robert Menzies held on to power by one seat.