A new study has found Australia’s reliance on imports has risen dramatically over the past five years, with imports accounting for more than half of the country’s exports.
The paper, which was published by the Australian Institute of Regional and International Studies, examined trade flows between Australia and the United States, the European Union and China.
It found that imports account for more of Australia’s exports than it does of its imports.
The authors of the paper, the University of Adelaide’s Dr Sarah Hargreaves and the University and College London’s Dr Peter Morley, also found that Australian firms were not necessarily spending much more to make sure they had a supply chain in place to meet the demands of the global economy.
The study, published by Australian National University and the Australian National Academies, analysed data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the International Trade Centre.
The report said the Australian economy was growing at a rate of around 3.5 per cent annually in 2016-17.
The Australian economy is expected to grow by at least 3 per cent this year.
The trade flows from the US and EU were also found to be growing, with the US importing about $2.4 billion more than the EU in 2016.
Dr Hargrews said the trend was not surprising given that Australian industries were still dependent on exports to the US.
“What’s different is the extent to which we are moving towards a global economy,” she said.
“We’re in the process of importing more than we are exporting to other countries, and so we’re not necessarily relying on imports in a big way.”
That is something we’re going to have to address in the future.
“The trade imbalance is a big issue.
The US and the EU are competing with each other for trade.
It’s very hard to compete in the world market if you don’t have a good relationship with the other member states.”
The report also noted that the US was experiencing a strong economy, with a growth rate of about 4.7 per cent in 2016 and 3.6 per cent growth in 2017.
However, it noted that Australia’s manufacturing sector, which includes manufacturing, construction, retail and transport, had been hit hard by the downturn in the global economies.
Dr Morley said Australia’s economy had experienced a “significant slowdown” since the global financial crisis.
The government’s National Australia Bank said it was “a challenge for the Federal Government to manage the transition from the world economy to the global market”.
“The challenges for the Australian Government and our economy have been particularly acute since the onset of the financial crisis,” the bank said.