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An empty store in Melbourne, the coronavirus epicenter of Australia, which has been on lockdown since the start of last month. Photo: William West/AFP via Getty Images

Australia's GDP shrank by a record 7% in the June quarter following a fall of 0.3% in the March quarter, official government agency the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) confirmed on Wednesday.

Why it matters: The data means Australia has entered its first recession in nearly 30 years, driven by a major coronavirus outbreak in its second-most populous state, Victoria, where restrictions have been imposed since last month.

  • Michael Smedes, head of National Accounts at the ABS, Michael Smedes said in a statement on the GDP fall for the June quarter, "This is, by a wide margin, the largest fall in quarterly GDP since records began in 1959."
  • Smedes attributed the GDP plunge to the pandemic and "associated containment policies."

By the numbers: Household spending fell 12.1% for the 2019/20 financial year — "the first annual fall in recorded history," the ABS notes.

  • Savings increased from 6% to 19.8% — the highest rate since since 1974.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

Go deeper

Ina Fried, author of Login
Oct 29, 2020 - Economy & Business

Earnings reports to show if tech can keep growing in a pandemic

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Apple, Facebook, Google and Amazon are all slated to report earnings after the markets close today, and that should give us a much better sense of how the tech industry is faring through the pandemic.

Why it matters: The reports should offer a clue of how sustainable tech's "new normal" is. That's especially important given that experts predict another and stronger wave of coronavirus in the U.S. that could force continued reliance on remote work for office employees.

19 mins ago - Politics & Policy

First look: Reid Hoffman launches $1M ad urging election patience

Screengrab of ad

Billionaire and LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, one of Democrats' biggest donors, tells Axios he's launching a $1 million digital ad campaign in battleground states urging voters to be patient with election results and prepare for no winner to be known on Nov. 3, no matter what "some people" may prematurely declare via Twitter.

Driving the news: The three-minute ad, titled "We Count! A Patriotic Musical Extravaganza," features the voice of "The Big Bang Theory's" Jim Parsons and Broadway star Barrett Doss. The spot will appear on Facebook targeting voters in the swing states of Arizona, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.