Retail therapy cures COVID’s economic symptoms

 

Queensland's food and shopping-led recovery recovering is leading the nation's COVID-19 bounce back.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg declared yesterday that while the recession was over, the economic recovery was not.

The national accounts revealed a bigger-than-expected 3.3 per cent growth in the economy in the three months to September as the nation came out of lockdown, the largest quarterly jump since 1976.

Queensland and NSW drove the recovery with the biggest increase in public and private spending in the nation.

 

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says the recession is over, but the economic recovery is not. Picture: Gary Ramage/NCA NewsWire
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says the recession is over, but the economic recovery is not. Picture: Gary Ramage/NCA NewsWire

A breakdown of the figures show Queenslanders splashed out $450 million more on clothing and shoes in the three months to September compared with the previous quarter, food purchases were up, while spending at restaurants, cafes and hotels almost doubled with a $1.1 billion increase on the previous quarter.

It still remains down on pre-COVID levels.

The Sunshine State put down the ciggies and beers as well, with expenditure on alcohol and tobacco falling.

But it is not all good news, with mining investment down, which could hurt the resource-reliant state.

Flagging coal and gas prices were among the key drivers of this.

The impact of China's trade aggression and holding up coal exports at the ports is yet to be seen in the sector. 

 

 

Mr Frydenberg said there was cause for optimism and hope.

"We have now turned the corner and a recovery is on the way," he said.

"The road ahead will be long, hard and bumpy, but the Australian economy has demonstrated its remarkable resilience.

"It's a story of restrictions being eased and Australians getting out and getting on with what they do best."

Federal shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers said there were no surprises in the figures, given the economy reopening during that time and it was coming off a record-breaking 7 per cent fall the previous quarter.

"Having been in the deepest most damaging recession for almost a century, it's hardly surprising that when the quarterly (gross domestic product) numbers start to recover," he said.

"What looks like a recovery on paper will still feel like a recession for too many Australians."

He said he feared the withdrawal of supports like JobKeeper in March could create a "bumpy landing".

Reserve Bank of Australia governor Philip Lowe is expecting economic growth to continue. Picture: Gary Ramage/NCA NewsWire
Reserve Bank of Australia governor Philip Lowe is expecting economic growth to continue. Picture: Gary Ramage/NCA NewsWire

Reserve Bank of Australia boss Philip Lowe forecast the economy would grow would continue in the December quarter, and expand 5 per cent next year and another 4 per cent in 2021.

But he said unemployment would remain about 6-7 per cent for two years and wage growth was likely to stay low.

"Recent medical breakthroughs (with vaccines) give us some hope that things will work out better than this," he said.

 

 

 

 

 

Originally published as Retail therapy cures COVID's economic symptoms