By Stephen Mayne

Assessing the Howard government with pure statistics proved a
popular topic on ABC radio yesterday so here are another 14 diverse
economic measures which assess our trading performance and debt-funded
consumption binge in recent years. As you can see, we’re relying on our
natural resources more than ever:

Measure 1996 2006
Household debt $223 billion $850 billion
Household debt servicing burden 7.2% 11.0%
Average weekly earnings $664 $1,026
Meat exports $3.3bn $6.9bn
Coal exports $7.8bn $24bn
Exports as % of GDP 19.2% 18.4%
Imports as % of GDP 19.5% 21.1%
Current account deficit as % of GDP 4.1% 6.4%
TCF imports $2.9bn $6.3bn
Household/electrical imports $1.77bn $6.3bn
Service sector exports $23.2bn $38bn
Primary commodities/total exports 53.6% 55%
Motor vehicle imports $4.4bn $7bn
Net investment income payable overseas $7.4bn $18bn

We’ll publish the full series on our website later this week so keep the suggestions coming to [email protected]