1 June 2011
The Australian economy has suffered its worst contraction in 20 years.
It's being blamed on severe weather and the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, which has damaged the country's second biggest trading partner.
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Australia now knows the cost of its summer of disasters, with the flooding and a cyclone in resources-rich Queensland hitting the country's bottom line.
It's contributed to a 1.2 % fall in GDP, the biggest contraction in the Australian economy in twenty years.
With rail lines buckled by flood waters and digging brought to a halt at many mines, coal exports from Queensland were particularly severely hit.
The Australian economy has also been badly affected by the Japanese earthquake and tsunami. Japan is the country's second biggest trading partner.
On top of all that, the Australian dollar has been at its highest levels against the US dollar since first being floated in the 1980s, which has also hit exporters.
Australia managed to avoid recession after the global financial crisis, earning it the nickname 'the wonder from down under'. And most economists think this figure is a one-off blip.
Asian demand for Australian resources, like iron ore and coal, should help the economy rebound, and the prediction is for a resumption of strong growth by the end of the year.
Nick Bryant, BBC News, Sydney
Click to hear the vocabulary
an area which contains a large amount of valuable minerals and crops
- bottom line
the final calculated amount of money that is profit or loss
- contributed to
been partly responsible for
bent and twisted
- brought to a halt
- On top of all that
As well as all those other negative things
- down under
an expression that means Australia
- a one-off blip
a single bad result which won't be repeated
return to its previous healthy condition
- a resumption of
a restarting of