Australia’s economy shrinks but offers hope for a rebound

The Australian economy contracted in the third quarter, but the decline was not as severe as expected, increasing the hope for a full rebound in the last three months of this year.

Compared with the previous quarter, the GDP from July to September fell by 1.9%, which was the third largest quarter-on-quarter decline on record. The previous lockdown measures to contain the Delta coronavirus variant has weakened demand.

But the decline after four consecutive quarters of growth exceeded the 2.7% contraction predicted by economists surveyed by Reuters.

The government’s support has eased the impact on household consumption, and consumer spending has been boosted after the blockade was lifted.

Joe Masters, chief economist at Ernst & Young Oceania, said: “Household savings, businesses have shown resilience, and the public sector has taken on the heavy responsibility to ease the impact of the Delta, and underwrite today’s situation where the national account contraction is smaller than expected.” company.

“This strength shows that we only need to achieve 2% growth in the December quarter to restore the economy to its pre-U.S. levels-even in the face of Omicron, this is achievable,” she added, referring to New coronavirus variants Discovered in the last few days.

According to official data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the growth in the third quarter was mainly attributable to exports and government spending.

Soon after the first implementation of the lockdown, the economy grew by 3.9% compared to the same period in 2020, which was lower than the 9.5-year growth rate in the second quarter of this year.

According to the employment data, household consumption and demand of the quarter, Tapas Strickland, head of economics at National Australia Bank, expects a sharp rebound in the last three months of 2021.

He said: “There are good reasons to expect a very sharp rebound in the fourth quarter, and economic growth will return to the level before the blockade.”

The Reserve Bank of Australia forecasts an annual growth rate of 3% in 2021.

Australia’s unemployment rate rose to 5.2% in October, but recent employment data shows that the number of employed people in November will pick up, and it will be enough to make up for the decline caused by the lockdown.

The economy is already experiencing Skills shortage It also plans to reopen the border to international students and working holidaymakers, which is expected to ease the pressure. But the government announced that with the emergence of Omicron variants, these measures will be postponed until December 15.

Contrary to the global economic situation, Australia Not hit by inflationary pressures Because wage growth is still weak, and the country does not face high energy costs.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the impact of the shorter and more stringent lockdown on household consumption from the end of 2020 is very different from the measures taken in the early stages of the pandemic.

“Bank data compiled on a weekly basis shows that spending on discretionary consumer categories fell when the lockdown was implemented, but rebounded almost immediately after the lockdown ended,” the Australian Bureau of Statistics said.

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