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Australia's economy slowed in Q2 before lockdown downturn

Sep '21
Pic: Shutterstock
Pic: Shutterstock
Australia’s gross domestic product (GDP) rose by 0.7 per cent in the June quarter this year—a step down from 1.9 per cent in the March quarter, according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The figure was higher than forecasts of 0.5 per cent growth. Annual growth was the fastest in modern history at 9.6 per cent, but only because the pandemic caused a severe contraction in the June quarter last year.

Australia's economy was already slowing in the June quarter this year before widespread COVID-19-induced lockdowns forced everything into a reverse mode.

Strict stay-at-home rules in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra are set to see the economy shrink by 2-3 per cent or more in the current quarter, according to a global newswire.

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has been counting on a rapid recovery once the restrictions ease, though the spread of the Delta variant has made its latest forecasts for growth look optimistic.

The central bank is now under pressure to delay a tapering of its bond buying programme planned for this month, and is not expected to raise interest rates from record lows of 0.1 per cent until at least 2023.

On the positive side, nominal GDP reached a record A$2.07 trillion ($1.51 trillion) for the year, making it the world's 11th largest economy. Output stood at A$80,432 for every one of Australia's 25.6 million residents.

That outperformance owed much to super-high prices for many of the country's resource exports, which boosted its terms of trade by a massive 7 per cent in the quarter and 24 per cent for the year.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)

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