Column: Iron ore, gold are keeping Australia’s luck from running out – by Clyde Russell (Reuters U.K. – June 29, 2020)

LAUNCESTON, Australia (Reuters) – Iron ore and gold may seem unlikely bed fellows, but in the current coronavirus pandemic they are combining to try and hold up Australia’s reputation as the “lucky country”.

While the country’s unbroken 29-year stretch of economic growth will be ended by the pandemic, the resource sector is proving to be key in cushioning the blow and likely ensuring Australia outperforms other developed economies.

The Australian government’s flagship resources report forecast that earnings from exports of resources and energy will reach a record A$293 billion ($201 billion) in the current fiscal year that ends on June 30.

This will drop to A$263 billion in the 2020-21 fiscal year, the according to the report released on Monday by the chief economist at the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources.

A 10% decline in export earnings from minerals and energy may seem like quite a blow, but the report notes that earnings from exports will be 50% higher in real terms than during the 2008 global financial crisis.

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