World News – AU – Australia « emerges from recession » as economy grows for the first time this year


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Australia’s economy grew 3. 3 percent in the September quarter, according to the latest gross domestic product (GDP) figures from the Bureau of Statistics.

Growth in the September quarter came after an economic decline of 7 percent in the three months to June – the worst decline in history that confirmed Australia had entered a technical recession due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The return to growth follows a year of economic decline, but with high unemployment expected to persist for several years, the effects of the recession are still being felt.

The textbook definition of a recession is two consecutive quarters of the economic contraction, but Mr. James said the definition is imperfect and does not take into account « the societal impact of the recession … particularly on the labor market ». .

« But based on that definition, Australia emerged from the recession and the growth prospects are encouraging, » he said.

Reserve Bank Governor Philip Lowe spoke in Canberra before the figures were released that he expected positive GDP growth for the current quarter as well.

« Given these developments, we now expect solid positive GDP growth in both September and December. And then, next year, our central scenario is that the economy will grow 5 percent by 2022 and then 4 percent, « said Dr. Lion.

« However, these positive numbers cannot hide the reality that the recovery will be uneven and bumpy and drawn out. Some parts of the economy are doing reasonably well, while others are in serious trouble.

« Australia is likely to experience relatively high unemployment for years, unemployment is too high and wages are rising and inflation is too low that we are not meeting the reserve bank’s goals. « . « 

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Dr. Lowe added: « Even if the economy as a whole is growing solidly now, we will not return to the production levels seen in late 2019 until late 2021. « 

Household consumption, which accounts for nearly 60 percent of the Australian economy, increased by 7. 9 percent in the September quarter, the largest increase in the 60-year history of national accounts.

Growth reflects a partial rebound from the 12. 5 percent fall in the June quarter.

The Bureau of Statistics found the increase reflected an increase in spending as COVID-19 restrictions were relaxed.

However, household consumption remained weak over the course of the year and fell by 6. 5 percent compared to the September 2019 quarter.

Hotels, pubs and restaurants saw the largest increase in spending, up almost 50 percent after 56. 3 percent decrease in the previous quarter.

Victoria was the only state or territory that saw a decline in household spending (-1. 2 pieces).

Sarah Hunter, chief economist at BIS Oxford Economics, said Victoria’s continued decline in spending reflected the effects of the state’s second lockdown.

« This confirms that Victoria’s economy should rebound strongly in the December quarter amid easing restrictions and suppression of COVID, » said Dr. Hunter.

« The continuing impact of the pandemic on trade is also clear, as exports of services decline by another 8. 8 percent due to lower international student enrollments. « 

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Dr. Hunter forecast « robust growth » for the December quarter as Victoria begins to catch up with the rest of the country.

She said federal government financial support for households and housing construction should boost consumer spending.

« However, we remain somewhat cautious on the outlook for trade and business investment. Overall, we expect GDP to return to pre-COVID levels towards the end of 2021. « 

Her guest house was closed for months during the pandemic, and she said the popular tourist town had changed within days when staff returned to their overseas homes and visitors stopped coming.

« It was a stroke of luck for all of us because we are in the hotel industry. We want people to come and stay, « said Ms. Garske.

« I still think I’m cautiously optimistic. You know it’s busy, but you still have to book in restaurants, there are [restricted] numbers.

She said her guest house attracts local tourists who would normally vacation abroad and had seen a surge of travel agents recommending Australian travel options instead.

« We are doing very well and we are so happy that so many regular guests are coming back. That’s the only thing that has really changed. « . « 

« We just have to be careful, we can’t expect everyone to come here, we don’t know what will happen in our winter. We look at Britain and Europe and they fight and America.

« I won’t be spending any money this year or next. I think I just want to stay close and work on improving the business in terms of accommodation. « 

This service may contain material from Agence France-Presse (AFP), APTN, Reuters, AAP, CNN and the BBC World Service that is copyrighted and cannot be reproduced.

AEST = Australian Eastern Standard Time, 10 hours before GMT (Greenwich Mean Time)

Australia, Recession, Economy, Gross Domestic Product

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