Adelaide contributes around three quarters of South Australian Gross State Product (GSP). The metro
area's ‘Gross City Product' (GCP) tends to be less volatile than shifts in the GSP growth rate, due to large
surges (or falls) in production which can occur in the Agriculture and Mining industries elsewhere in the
State (Figure 1).
It is also noteworthy from Figure 1 that:
• Adelaide and South Australia quickly recovered from the 1991-92 recession.
• The 1999 peak in Adelaide growth, and the following trough in 2001, was a result of the introduction of the
GST which caused changes in consumption patterns. 2001 was also the timing of the last recession in
the United States.
• Since 2001 there has been a clear cycle in the economy of Adelaide, with a peak in 2003 and 2007 and a
trough in 2005. The current trough is due to the global economic slowdown impacting on the South
Economic growth can be driven by a number of factors including population growth. Figure 2 presents
economic growth per capita. The overall pattern is the same as Figure 1, but in the more recent years
the per capita growth has been more modest. Economic growth has not been able to quite keep pace with
the relatively strong population growth experienced by Adelaide over the past three years.
The past twenty years have also seen a significant structural adjustment within the economy of Adelaide and
South Australia. Table 1 highlights that Manufacturing's share of the Adelaide economy has almost halved
since 1990, from 20.3% to 11.8% in 2009. Over the same period Financial & insurance services and
Professional, scientific & technical services have both significantly increased their contribution. This reflects
the trend towards a post industrial economy where knowledge intensive industries are the driving force
behind long term economic prosperity.
Retail trade's share of the economy has fallen steadily from 5.3% in 1999 to 4.9% in 2009. This is reflecting
the ageing profile of the population, which has clear implications for retail expenditure. The fall in Education &
training is also linked to the shifts in the age pyramid, with relatively fewer children in education. The ageing
population has also resulted in the economic contribution of the Health care & social assistance industry
increasing from 6.9% in 1990 to 7.4% in 2009.
1. The contribution of Public administration & safety has increased considerably in the last two years due
to various government economic stimulus packages.