Australia’s economy is estimated to have seen its second-biggest contraction in the third quarter of 2021 as the country battled a raging outbreak of the coronavirus delta variant, which forced businesses to shutter and states to seal borders. Economists in a Bloomberg survey said Australia’s GDP had likely shrunk 2.5% quarter-on-quarter in the quarter ended September. That would mark the biggest contraction since the 7% slump in the second quarter in 2020.
However, robust exports and the government’s emergency package are expected to partially offset some of the losses. Strong resource exports and a decline in import volumes resulted in real net exports, which added 1.0 percentage points to GDP in the quarter. Australia’s current account surplus came in at a record AUD23.9 billion ($17.1 billion) in the quarter, thanks in part to an 8% jump in exports.
Meanwhile, retail sales jumped 4.9% in October as shops reopened. Commonwealth Bank of Australia reported spending on its cards in the week ended November 26 was 24% higher than the pre-pandemic levels. The labour market has also been unexpectedly resilient, with payrolls exceeding pre-lockdown levels in October, well above expectations.
However, the emergence of the coronavirus omicron variant is a potential threat. The Australian government has postponed the opening of international borders by two weeks. However, it is unlikely to reinstate stay-at-home rules as 87% of the country’s adult population is fully vaccinated. The government is due to release its official GDP data on Wednesday.
Tags: All Products,AlwaysFree,Asia Pacific,Australia,EnglishPublished on November 30, 2021 1:08 PM (GMT+8)
Last Updated on November 30, 2021 1:08 PM (GMT+8)