After almost 30 years of economic growth, Australia officially fell into recession after its economy shrank 7 percent in the second quarter, the government said on Wednesday.
The drop in quarterly G.D.P. is the largest since record-keeping began in 1959, Michael Smedes, head of national accounts at the Australian Bureau of Statistics, said in a statement.
Restrictions that were imposed in March during the virus’s first surge greatly reduced domestic spending on transportation, hotels and restaurants, while border bans hit the tourism and education industries.
Australia’s second-most populous state, Victoria, remains under lockdown as it fights a surge that was driven by returning travelers. Officials on Wednesday extended Victoria’s state of emergency for six months, a designation that gives them broad powers to enact virus-related restrictions as needed.
In the end, more than $150 billion in stimulus packages could not ward off a recession.
“Today’s devastating numbers confirm what every Australian knows: that Covid-19 has wreaked havoc on our economy and our lives like nothing we have ever experienced before,” Josh Frydenberg, the country’s treasurer, said on Wednesday.
The new data marked a sobering end to what had once seemed an endless boom driven by immigration, rising trade with Asia and careful monetary policy. More than a million Australians were unemployed in July, and the unemployment rate of 7.5 percent was the worst in 22 years.
“The road ahead will be long,” Mr. Frydenberg said. “The road ahead will be hard. The road ahead will be bumpy.”
Australia has recorded 663 coronavirus deaths and more than 25,000 cases, according to a New York Times database.