Every recession, like every economy, has its own characteristics and that the Australian economy was no exception.
Shares fell 2.2 per cent on Monday, with resource firms such as BHP Billiton Ltd and the banks leading declines after yet more evidence that the US is in recession. (this is old data)
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index dropped 119.1 points to 5,320.2, building on last week's 3.2 per cent decline.
When the bubble burst in Japan at the end of 1990, the Nikkei index had hit 40,000. In the following ten years it halved in value, to 20,000. In the first four years of this century, it more than halved again to a low of 7,600 before beginning a long-awaited recovery. Dr Steve Keen, Associate Professor of Economics and Finance at the University of Western Sydney, sees eerie parallels between Japan in the 80s and Australia today.
According to the widely-used definition of a recession, two quarters of negative growth, the late eighties recession only covered a brief period in 1987 (although not in the United States, where recession did not hit until 1990), and another in 1990–1991. By measures such as unemployment and public perception, the North American economy was in recession continuously for years after 1987, with only brief periods of revival.
Dow Jones (July 1987 through January 1988)
On Black Monday of October 1987 a stock collapse of unprecedented size lopped 22.6 percent off the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The collapse, larger than that of 1929, was handled well by the economy and the stock market began to quickly recover. However the lumbering savings and loans were beginning to collapse, putting the savings of millions of Americans in jeopardy.
The panic that followed led to a sharp recession that hit hardest those countries most closely linked to the United States, including Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom. The economies of Europe and Japan were hurt, but not as badly. The US economy continued to grow as a whole, although certain sectors of the market such as energy and real estate slumped.
Former prime minister Paul Keating famous labelled the early nineties recession in Australia the "recession we had to have". Dr Keen is convinced we are soon to hit the "recession we can't avoid"
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