CANBERRA, Australia — The coronavirus pandemic has pushed Australia’s economy into recession for the first time in 29 years.
Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said on Wednesday the current June quarter will be the second in a row in which the Australian economy has shrunk. A recession is defined as at least two successive quarters of contraction.
Data released on Wednesday for the March quarter show a 0.3% contraction since the three months through December due to destructive wildfires and the early stages of the coronavirus lockdown.
Frydenberg said the Treasury Department had advised the June quarter result will be worse.
“In response to this once-in-100-year global event, we put in place a series of health measures that have hit the economy hard,” Frydenberg said.
Australia has recorded 7,221 coronavirus cases with 26 people still in hospitals on Wednesday. There have been 102 fatalities.