Treasurer confirms Australia on track for recession
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has confirmed that Australia is set to fall into a recession for the first time in 29 years.
In a speech to the media, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg explained the economy contracted by 0.3 of a percentage point over the March quarter, ahead of the collapse in June when the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns kicked in.
The Treasurer said that while fear of a lockdown saw panic buying of food and household items, total consumption still fell by 1.1 per cent in the quarter.
These numbers reflect the pandemic, the impact on consumption for “a once-in-a-century event”, the Treasurer said.
“This is the economic impact of the health decisions we had to take,” Mr Frydenberg said.
“While government spending and net exports contributed to growth in the quarter, it was more than offset by the contraction caused by falls in consumption, investment and inventories.”
However, the Treasurer confirmed that Australia’s economic position was greater than many predicted, despite the June quarter likely to be more painful.
“The number of coronavirus cases was increasing by more than 20 per cent per day. Treasury were contemplating a fall in GDP of more than 20 per cent in the June quarter.”
He also believes that Australia’s economy is far more resilient than many other developed countries, highlighting that a 0.3 of a percentage point fall is far stronger figure than what’s being felt in the US and the UK.