Instead, the Australian economy shrunk by 0.3 per cent over the first three months of the year according to today's national accounts.
It marks the first quarter of negative growth since 2011 and with COVID-19 set to have a bigger economic impact in the second quarter of 2020 it means that Australia is certain to enter a state of recession, defined as two consecutive quarters of GDP contraction, for the first time since 1991.
"The decline in GDP in the first quarter pales in comparison to the much larger fall in Q2", Ben Udy Australia and New Zealand economist at research firm Capital Economics, wrote in a research note sent to Al Jazeera.
The headline numbers hide the overall weakness in the private economy.
"The size and speed of the decline are unprecedented and, as now legislated, there is a substantial policy cliff edge at the end of the third quarter [when the majority of the additional support for households comes to an end] that must be navigated". One reason is that households stopped panic buying of food.
The household saving rate jumped as households cut back on spending, despite a 6.2 percent increase in social assistance benefits.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison reacts as he stands with the Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg
Partly offsetting the falls were a rise in government spending, which added 0.3 percentage points to growth, and net trade, which contributed 0.5 percentage points as imports slumped while commodity exports held up reasonably well.
The government expects a total virus-related contraction in GDP growth of around 10% this year. They have been successful in containing the coronavirus pandemic, and as a result, their economic activity is picking up once more. "And that is on the basis of the advice that I have from the Treasury Department about where the June quarter is expected to be", he said.
Responding to a query about Australia in recession, Frydenberg said he believed it was. "The economic impact will be severe".
Australia's gross domestic product is expected to fall even more sharply in the current quarter.
That took the annual growth to 1.4 per cent, the slowest since the 2009 global financial crisis, as the economy was hit by the worst bushfire season in living memory, a prolonged drought and a pandemic that shut down businesses and left many without jobs. A lot will depend on how quickly the labour market can recover.
Fiscal and monetary policy are working in tandem to rebuild the economy.