“World-Leading” COVID Recovery Gives Hope To Retail
Retailers looking for insight into the next six months will be buoyed by news of what Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg bills as Australia’s “world-leading” COVID recovery.
GDP grew by 3.1 per cent during the last quarter of 2020 on a quarter-by-quarter basis, as reported in the Australian Financial Review, following a 3.4 per cent rise in the third quarter. Year-on-year, however, GDP dropped 1.1 per cent in Q4 2020.
Josh Frydenberg has celebrated Australia’s economic performance during the pandemic, as the economy only contracted by 2.5 per cent; this is in contrast to other advanced economies such as the US (down 3.3 per cent) and the UK (down 9.9 per cent).
“This is the first time in recorded history that Australia has seen two consecutive quarters of economic growth of more than 3 per cent.
“The Australian economy has recovered 85 per cent of its COVID-induced fall, six months earlier and twice as fast as we expected in last year’s October budget.
“There are still sectors and regions that are doing it tough, but our economic support will continue and today’s national accounts confirmed that a strong, broad-based recovery is under way,” the Treasurer said.
Household spending was up 4.3 per cent in the December quarter, and 320,000 new jobs were added; this was despite the tapering of JobKeeper, with direct economic support from the government halving during this period.
“What is particularly pleasing in today’s numbers is that as our emergency support is tapering off, the private sector is stepping up,” said Frydenberg.
The 3.1 per cent growth in GDP was well above previous forecasts of 2.5 per cent.