|Budget: Income .............. $267 Billion
Expenditure .... $258 Billion
GDP(parity Purchasing: 666.8 Billion
GDP: Real growth rate: 2.8% (2006 est.)
Main Crops: Wheat, barley, sugarcane, fruits; cattle, sheep, poultry
Natural Resources: Bauxite, coal , iron,copper, tin
Major Industries: Mining, industrial and transportation equipment, food processing, chemicals, steel
| Australia has an enviable Western-style capitalist economy with a per capita GDP on par with the four dominant West European economies. Rising output in the domestic economy, robust business and consumer confidence, and high export prices for raw materials and agricultural products are fueling the economy. Australia's emphasis on reforms, low inflation, and growing ties with China are other key factors behind the economy's strength. The impact of drought and strong import demand pushed the trade deficit up in recent years, although the trade balance improved in 2006. Housing prices probably peaked in 2005, diminishing the prospect that interest rates would be raised to prevent a speculative bubble. Conservative fiscal policies have kept Australia's budget in surplus since 2002.