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Economy bounces back but Treasurer warns there’s still ‘a long way to go’

While the latest ABS data points to economic recovery of 3.3 per cent in September, signalling an end to the recession, the Treasurer has warned that “economic recovery still has a long way to go”.

Economy bounces back but Treasurer warns there’s still ‘a long way to go’
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  • Maja Garaca Djurdjevic
  • December 03, 2020
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The latest ABS figures reveal reduced COVID-19 case numbers resulted in an easing of social distancing measures and trading restrictions across most states and territories during the September quarter, springing the economy back into action.

“Following the record 7.0 per cent decline in the June quarter, Australia experienced a partial recovery in the September quarter,” said ABS head of national accounts Michael Smedes.

“As a result, economic activity fell by 3.8 per cent through the year to September quarter.”

However, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has warned that there is still a long way to go.

“Well technically the recession is over in Australia, but Australia’s economic recovery still has a long way to go and there are a lot of Australians who are doing it tough right now,” said Mr Frydenberg.

“A lot of sectors that continue to find it difficult in the face of this once-in-a-century pandemic and the greatest economic shock since the Great Depression.

“But what we’ve seen in today’s GDP numbers, is the biggest single quarterly increase since 1976 at 3.3 per cent growth, it’s better than what the market was expecting at 2.5 per cent, it does show that the labour market strengthening is helping the economy overall and obviously the government is continuing to do everything it can to support Australians through this crisis,” the Treasurer said.

Also on Wednesday, the latest ABS weekly payroll jobs figures revealed the current extent of COVID-19 job losses. According to the data, there were approximately 320,000 fewer jobs in mid-November compared with mid-March before the COVID-19 lockdown began.

By state and territory, the largest changes in payroll jobs between March and November were in Victoria and Tasmania, decreasing by 5.4 per cent and 4.1 per cent, respectively.

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