Snapshot Comparison

This interactive tool allows you to compare snapshots of the economy at different points in time. To create your customised snapshot comparison follow the instructions below.

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Related Information

Timing of Economic Events

Early 1990s Recession – March 1991

The Early 1990s Recession in Australia began in the March quarter of 1991 and lasted for about a year. During the recession unemployment rose above 10 per cent. The recession came in response to the unwinding of the asset price boom in Australia during the 1980s, the international recession of the early 1990s and high interest rates, which were necessary to help reduce Australia's high inflation rate at the time.

Introduction of the GST – July 2000

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) was introduced in July 2000. The GST is a tax of 10 per cent on most goods and services (but excludes fresh food, education, healthcare and some other things). The introduction of the GST caused inflation to spike temporarily because the prices of many goods and services were higher under the GST than under previous sales tax arrangements. Economic growth also slowed temporarily as consumers lowered their spending once the tax came into effect. Both inflation and economic growth returned to near more typical rates about a year after the GST was introduced.

Global Financial Crisis – September 2008

The global financial crisis (GFC) refers to the period of extreme stress in global financial markets and banking systems between mid 2007 and early 2009 . During the GFC, a downturn in the US housing market was a catalyst for a financial crisis that spread from the United States to the rest of the world through linkages in the global financial system, peaking following the collapse of Lehman Brothers bank in September 2008. Many banks around the world incurred large losses and relied on government support to avoid bankruptcy. Millions of people lost their jobs as the major advanced economies experienced their deepest recessions since the Great Depression in the 1930s. Recovery from the crisis was also much slower than past recessions that were not associated with a financial crisis.

Terms of Trade Boom – September 2011

The terms of trade boom refers to the increase in the terms of trade between 2005 and its peak in September 2011. Natural resources, including iron ore, coal and natural gas, make up a large share of Australia's exports. The prices of these commodities increased significantly over this period in response to growing demand from China and some other emerging economies. As a result, the Australian dollar also appreciated. This increased the value of Australia's exports and prompted a large increase in investment in the mining sector, which contributed to a lift in economic growth in 2011 and 2012.

COVID-19 Pandemic – April 2020

In early 2020, the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic became an economic event of extraordinary scale across the world. In response to the pandemic, many countries imposed nationwide restrictions on movement and activity and closed their borders to international travellers. Many businesses faced forced closures and there was a large increase in unemployment. Financial markets came under stress and the Australian dollar briefly depreciated to its lowest level since the global financial crisis. The Australian economy experienced its largest peacetime economic contraction since the 1930s. At the same time, governments introduced unprecedented fiscal measures to help support household and business incomes and stem the increase in unemployment. For example, many governments in advanced economies introduced wage subsidy schemes, such as JobKeeper in Australia. Central banks, including the RBA, implemented a range of monetary policy measures to support households and businesses. In Australia, this included a record low level for the cash rate target and unconventional monetary policy tools.

Timing of Updates

Released on 19 June 2024 (data updated to 18 June 2024).

Data Availability

The data series vary in frequency of observations (e.g. monthly, quarterly, bi-annual, financial-year, and calendar-year). The tool will display the data observation that the month selected belongs to, if the data observation is available. For example if February 2019 is selected, the tool will display the:

  • February 2019 observation for a monthly series
  • March 2019 observation for a quarterly series (the March quarter 2019 is from January 2019 to March 2019)
  • May 2019 observation for a bi-annual series. The only bi-annual series in the tool is Average Weekly Earnings (the relevant bi-annual period for Average Weekly Earnings is from December 2018 to May 2019).
  • June 2019 observation for a financial-year series (the financial year 2019 is from July 2018 to June 2019)
  • December 2019 observation for a calendar-year series (the calendar year 2019 is from January 2019 to December 2019).

Series also vary in the lag between the period of observation and publication of the data (data at a lower frequency are typically published with a longer lag – e.g. monthly data are usually available before quarterly data). If data are not yet available, the tool will return the latest available observation.