Pandemic brings 1st Australian recession in 29 years

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — The coronavirus pandemic has pushed Australia’s economy into recession for the first time in 29 years.Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said on Wednesday the current June quarter will be the second in a row in which the Australian economy has contracted. A recession is defined as at least two straight quarters of contraction. Data released on Wednesday showed the economy shrank 0.3% in the January-March quarter due to destructive wildfires and the early stages of Australia’s coronavirus lockdown. Weak household consumption was a major factor behind the decline, as millions have lost their jobs. Frydenberg said the current quarter is expected to be much worse.