National Accounts Data Shows Longest GDP Per Capita Decline On Record

Written by:
5 June 2024
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“Australia’s experiment with a mass-migration led economic growth strategy has failed spectacularly, and has delivered the longest period of per capita economic decline on record,” said Daniel Wild, Deputy Executive Director of the Institute of Public Affairs.

Australian Bureau of Statistics’ National Accounts data for the March 2024 quarter, released today, confirms the devastating impact the federal government’s out-of-control migration policy is having on the Australia’s gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, which declined 0.44 per cent during the quarter. (Chart over page)

GDP per capita, a far more precise measure of living standards than the headline GDP figure, has now fallen for five consecutive quarters for the first time since records started in 1973, on average by 0.26 per cent per quarter, declining in total by 1.30 per cent over the period.

“Never before has GDP per capita declined for more than a year. Today’s figures show that Australians are, on an individual basis, in recession and getting left further behind when the nation’s cost of living crisis is already acute,” said Mr Wild.

Recent IPA research found in the financial year ending 2023, population growth, led by record migration levels, accounted for 85 per cent of total real economic growth, with the increased reliance on migration leaving Australians approximately $7,800 worse off.

“Australia’s dismal economic conditions reflect the federal government’s lack of vision and ambition for the nation. Its only trick for growing the economy seems to be by increasing migration alone,” said Mr Wild.

“The majority of the overall economic growth that Australians see has, and will continue to be, driven by mass-migration, not improved productivity. This has had the effect of Australian families being much worse off, despite headline figures suggesting otherwise.”

“It is incumbent upon the federal government to deliver sustainable economic growth through increased productivity, not by merely bringing in record numbers of arrivals we cannot accommodate.”

“Migration has and will continue to play a critical role in Australia’s story. However, the current unplanned, record migration intake is placing immense pressure on housing costs and our infrastructure, has not solved our worker shortage crisis and has left Australians worse off,” said Mr Wild.

To download the IPA’s previous research click here.

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