A woman walks past a sign urging people to stay home in Melbourne on August 14, 2020, as the city battles an outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus. (Photo by AFP)
Australia has entered its first recession since 1991 after the economy shrank 7 percent during the second quarter, official figures showed Wednesday, as the country reels from the coronavirus pandemic.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics said it was the fastest quarterly contraction on record and ends a record three-decade run of economic growth that was undented even by the global financial crisis.
A recession is defined as two consecutive quarters of contraction. The economy shrank 0.3 percent in the previous three months.
Australia has detected nearly 26,000 infections since the pandemic began, with Victoria accounting for about 75% of those cases. The national death tally rose to 663 after Victoria reported six deaths in the last 24 hours.