A mining boom fueled by Chinese industrial demand for iron ore and coal helped Australia avoid a recession during the global financial crisis. But the boom has passed and the economy is slowing along with the weakening resource sector.

The government's latest economic forecast shows Australia's deteriorating economic performance will translate into a deficit of AU$68.1 billion in the current fiscal year a¿¿ about AU$16.8 billion worse than was forecast when the budget was announced in May last year.

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