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Australia has developed into a modern industrial nation and is an outstanding producer of primary products. The country self-sufficient in almost all foodstuffs is also a major exporter of wool, meat, dairy products, and wheat. Wool has been a constant contributor to the progress of economy curve in Australia and in turn has helped the agricultural sector to grow too. In the years between 1960, mining became a leading segment in the economy. Increasing demand of mineral ores in Japan and among other trading partners of Australia led to a rise in the exports of mining and manufacturing goods, which, in turn, exceeded the exports of agriculture. An increasing focus on services and high-tech industries has also helped to diversify and modernize the Australian economy.

In 1999, the estimated annual federal budget included US$97.1 billion in revenues and US$95.4 billion in expenditures. Gross domestic product (GDP), which measures the value of all goods and services produced, was US$368.7 billion in 2001 in which services contributed 70.4 percent of the GDP; industry (including mining and manufacturing) contributed 26.1 percent; manufacturing alone contributed 12.79 percent; and agriculture contributed 3.5 percent.