1155 Economics in Australia

Alex talks about how things are going well economically in Australia and how people are forced to save.


Maria: So Alex, you're from Australia. What's the economical situation there at the moment?

Alex: We've actually been very, very lucky in the last couple of years throughout the global financial crisis. We've been, we had a very strong, very positive economic situation. The reason behind that is mainly because of China. They've been buying a lot of our export commodities and as a result, it's been fueling the economy. We didn't have a recession unlike the United States because of the stimulus package as well as China.

So the Government did a very controversial stimulus package which included raising the retirement age up to sixty seven so that was something that wasn't really very much liked. It actually got the Prime Minister booted out of office but nevertheless as a result, a lot of these things that the Government did helped a lot.

We also have this thing that I think is one of the most exciting things to come out of Australia which is superannuition or superannuation, however you want to say it. It's a sort of mandatory eleven per cent on top of your income which by law you must put into a savings account which is then invested. The investment packages you can actually get, you know, it can be divided between property, between shares, between stock, whatever you want. You can manage it yourself or you can have it managed as well. But the law is you cannot take the money out until you are sixty five. So if you think about this, that's eleven per cent of what every single person is earning. Often families pool their superannuation together, their super, and that is all being invested. It's all being pumped throughout the economy constantly. Yes, it's kind of been pulled out of services and so on and so forth but it's going through. It's providing developmental initiatives and all sorts of stuff like that. So I think that's one of the reasons.

I certainly think that we're going to have better standards of living than our parents will unlike so many countries in the world which will just fall flat because they haven't got the structure, the social and the economic architecture to look after themselves in the next couple of years.

Learn Vocabulary from the lesson



Throughout the global financial crisis.

Used like this, 'crisis' refers to a period of financial problems or instability. Notice the following:

  1. The city wasn't prepared for an environmental crisis like this.
  2. He does a very good job staying calm in a crisis.



They've been buying a lot of our export commodities.

A 'commodity' is a valuable item that can be traded or sold. Notice the following:

  1. His company ships commodities around the world.
  2. Her job involves looking for new and exciting international commodities.



We didn't have a recession, unlike the United States.

A 'recession' is a temporary decline in economic activities.  Notice the following:

  1. It is a horrible time to look for work now because of the recession.
  2. Many people have lost their jobs during the recession.

stimulus package


Because of the stimulus package, the company survived.

A 'stimulus package' is used to help the economy creating jobs or increasing spending. Notice the following:

  1. Everyone will be getting a tax rebate this year as part of a national stimulus package.
  2. The government is proposing a stimulus package as part of their effort to help the economy.



Often families pool their superannuation together.

A 'superannuation' is an amount that is regularly deducted from an employee's paycheck and invested in a plan used for retirement. Notice the following:

  1. Most people hate superannuation when they are young, but love the benefits when they are older.
  2. Does your country have a superannuation package?



It can be divided between property, between shares, and between stock.

In this case, 'stock' refers to the shares or ownership of a company. Notice the following:

  1. He puts some of his money in savings and invests some of it in stock.
  2. They are finally selling some of their stock to the public.

fall flat


The economies will fall flat because they haven't got good structure.

In this example, 'fall flat' is used to mean something similar to 'fail' or 'collapse.' Notice the following:

  1. Their company will probably fall flat in a few years.
  2. It takes a lot of hard work to keep a nation from falling flat.


Answer the following questions about the interview.

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Vocabulary Challenge

Complete the sentences with the words below.
crisis • commodities • recession
stimulus • superannuation • stock • flat
  1. She doesn't actually have a job, but she spends a lot of time investing in the market.
  2. Many internet companies have a few years of growth and then fall .
  3. His company lost a lot of money during the .
  4. What kind of does your company produce?
  5. This package will motivate people to spend more money.
  6. Even small can cause a real in large cities.
  7. Everyone in this country has a lot of money save when they retire because of our program.