As the global economy continues to struggle, the country’s leaders are grappling with how to prepare.
The latest from the global economic downturn:The Australian dollar rose against the U.S. dollar on Tuesday, with the dollar index index falling 1.5 per cent to 96.25.
It’s now down more than 5 per cent in just four days.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics said the economic downturn, which has hit Australia’s manufacturing sector hard, had taken a huge toll on the economy.
In a report released Tuesday, the ABS said the number of people in employment had fallen by 9 per cent and the unemployment rate had risen to 8.5.
But, as the global financial markets have cooled, the economy has been enjoying a bounce in recent months, with job growth in the quarter ending December forecast to hit 1.1 per cent.
The ABS said there had been a rebound in exports and employment.
It also said the mining sector was benefiting from stronger commodity prices and falling energy prices.
However, the outlook is uncertain, with a number of major companies already reporting a loss in revenue for the quarter.
Economy minister Chris Bowen has said he wants to be sure that Australia can handle the impact of a global financial downturn.
He said the ABS report showed the impact on the Australian economy was “significant” and said it was important for government to keep working with the private sector to help with the transition.
“We have a very tight budget and we need to be able to manage the impact this has on the government’s finances and the economy,” Mr Bowen said.