We dodged and weaved around the global financial crisis.
We skipped past the Asian financial crisis and side-stepped the post-Dom.Com bubble recession.
But the Australian economy has finally been floored by the killer punch of a once in a century pandemic.
Australia’s impressive world record expansion of 29 years has finally come to an abrupt halt.
But even then, statistics show the nation’s first recession since the one Paul Keating said we had to have is milder than most. At least at this stage.
The latest national accounts showed the economy shrank 7.0 per cent in the June quarter, the biggest contraction since at least the late 1950s when the Australian Bureau of Statistics started plotting the country’s economic growth.
Combined with a smaller 0.3 per cent fall in the March quarter, the definition of a technical recession has been fulfilled.
Yet as traumatic as the downturn is, recent Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development figures show the contraction among OECD countries in the June quarter was 9.8 per cent, including a 20 per cent slump in the UK and a 14 per cent downturn in France.
When COVID-19 first hit Australian shores and restrictions were put in place in March, the fear was the country would also see a contraction of around 10 per cent.
But before we get too smug, there are now more than one million people without a job, many for the first time, because of the pandemic and Treasury anticipates a further 400,000 people could be joining them before Christmas because of Victoria’s harsh restrictions.
Worse still, more than 25,000 people have caught the deadly virus and more than 660 families are mourning the passing of their relations, most of whom had been living in aged care homes.
How quickly the economy recovers from here will be down to how far COVID-19 can be suppressed, whether the country can avoid harsh restrictions like in Victoria and the success of finding a vaccine.
Already some economists are worried the September quarter could record another negative result given Victoria makes up around 25 per cent of the national output.
And will the economy still be able to get off the canvas in the December quarter when support measures from JobKeeper and JobSeeker are reduced?
We won’t know that one until those national accounts are released in March next year, by which time at least 2020 will be finally dead and buried.