A record to be proud of
Since 1996 Australia has had continuous real growth averaging 3.5 per cent per annum. During that period many of our major trading partners experienced recession. Solid growth is expected to continue in 2006‑07.
Higher living standards
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per person has risen by over 23 per cent in real terms since 1996, to levels above the OECD average. We have the eighth highest standard of living in the OECD.
Sustained budget surpluses
The fiscal position remains sound, with a forecast surplus of $10.8 billion in 2006‑07. Projected surpluses provide a sound basis to deal with future challenges, such as population ageing.
Eliminating Government debt
The Government has eliminated net debt which stood at $96 billion in 1996. This means the Government is saving $8 billion a year in interest payments.
Trillion dollar economy
In 2006‑07 Australia's GDP is expected to reach a trillion dollars for the first time.
The unemployment rate rose to nearly 11 per cent during the early 1990s. At 5 per cent, it is now at its lowest level since November 1976. Continued economic growth is the best way to create new jobs.
Low interest rates
In March 1996 the standard variable mortgage rate stood at 10.5 per cent. Current rates are around 7.5 per cent, resulting in a saving of around $530 per month on the average new mortgage today.
Source: Groningen Growth and Development Centre and The Conference Board (January 2006). (GDP per person comparison is in purchasing power parity terms).
2 2006‑07 Budget Overview