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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

Over 60,000 koalas killed or harmed by Australia's "black summer" fires

A koala and her joey during rehabilitation at Taronga Zoo in Sydney after a bushfire ravaged their habitat in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney in the Australian of New South Wales in January 13. Photo: Cole Bennetts/The Sydney Morning Herald via Getty Images

Australia's "'black summer" bushfires killed, wounded or displaced 143 million mammals — including over 61,000 koalas, per a report published Monday

Why it matters: Koalas in New South Wales and Queensland were in "rapid decline" before last summer's fires ravaged the states, per a statement from Dermot O'Gorman, CEO of WWF-Australia, which commissioned the research. It's "a deeply disturbing number for a species already in trouble," he added.

Texas AG sues Biden administration over deportation freeze

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks to members of the media in 2016. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is suing the Biden administration in federal district court over its 100-day freeze on deporting unauthorized immigrants, and he's asking for a temporary restraining order.

Between the lines: The freeze went into effect Friday, temporarily halting most immigration enforcement in the U.S. In the lawsuit, Paxton claims the move "violates the U.S. Constitution, federal immigration and administrative law, and a contractual agreement between Texas" and the Department of Homeland Security.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
1 hour ago - Podcasts

Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck

President Biden has said that getting Americans vaccinated for COVID-19 is his administration’s top priority given an initial rollout plagued by organizational, logistical and technical glitches.

Axios Re:Cap digs into the bottlenecks and how to unclog them with Carbon Health chief executive Eren Bali, whose company recently began helping to manage vaccinations in Los Angeles.