World Economy

Another Wipeout for Australia

Another Wipeout for AustraliaAnother Wipeout for Australia

From world’s best economy in 2013, Australia fell to third last year in the Independent Australia Ranking on Economic Management global rankings. And now down to ninth. The surf’s definitely up. But Australia just can’t catch a wave, Yahoo reported.

In 2014, Australia fell from world’s best-performed economy on the IAREM ranking to third, behind Singapore and the UAE. Australia had held top spot from 2009 to 2013, after managing the global financial crisis better than most.

In 2015, the wipeout dumped Australia in ninth place, overtaken by Norway, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Oman, Taiwan and–embarrassingly–New Zealand. Coincidentally, ninth was Australia’s ranking in 2007, when Labor took the longboard from John Howard’s conservatives.

Australia’s IAREM score fell this year from 29.25 to 26.73. There was a marginal lift in income but declines in gross domestic product growth and median wealth and a rise in government debt.

Singapore lost top spot to the United Arab Emirates. This was more attributable to UAE’s surging income, rising wealth and strong cash reserves than any notable Singaporean problem. Singapore’s score declined only slightly on higher debt and lower wealth.

 Winners in 2015

Most countries achieved higher IAREM scores in 2015, confirming that recovery from the GFC is continuing worldwide. Of last year’s top 30 economies, 17 had significantly higher scores this year. Seven were lower and six about the same.

Norway advanced from ranking eighth last year to an impressive third with higher income and median wealth and much more money in the coffers—or negative debt.

Clearly, the most spectacular move was New Zealand’s advance from 13th to fifth on the strength of greater median wealth, lower inflation and lower debt. Malcolm Turnbull’s plaudits for his Kiwi counterpart are well-founded.

South American economies enjoying la fiesta economica include Paraguay, Peru, Guatemala, and Bolivia. Chile, Argentina and Colombia suffered, however. So there is no obvious regional boom.

 The top ten IAREM outcomes for 2015