Measuring the early recovery and second wave impacts

Media Release

The early recovery of the Australian economy, tempered by second wave COVID-19 impacts and continued restrictions, is summarised in a new Australian Statistician's Analytical Series article ‘Recovery tempered by second wave impacts – the September quarter 2020’.

The article, the third in the series, follows on from the summary of the June quarter, which showed the unprecedented economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and similarly unprecedented responses from governments.

The Australian Statistician, Dr David Gruen, said: "The September quarter showed signs of recovery from the major economic shocks of the June quarter.

“Gross domestic product recovered by $15.3 billion (3.3 per cent) but remained $19.5 billion (3.9 per cent) below the March quarter.

“Employment increased by 242,000 people (2.0%) over the quarter and hours worked recovered by 1.9 per cent. By September, employment remained around 3.1 per cent below March, and hours down by 5.0 per cent, with both recovering further into October. 

“The level of support from governments continued to be unparalleled in Australian history, with around $35.8 billion on JobKeeper and around $13.5 billion on Boosting Cash Flow for Employers in the quarter.”

The article also highlights the impacts from Victoria’s second wave of COVID-19 infections and the restrictions imposed to limit the spread of the virus.

“Key national accounts and labour market measures showed further falls for Victoria in the September quarter, but early recovery in the other states and territories,” Dr Gruen said.

“Victoria was in focus in many of our statistical releases this quarter. For instance, weekly payroll data highlighted that Inner Melbourne was the most adversely affected region over the quarter, and all 17 of Victoria’s regions were in the top 20 most adversely affected in Australia.”

The article also highlights the variation in impacts by industry over the September quarter, with service industries continuing to be the most affected, particularly in Victoria.

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