Recording an historic quarter for Australia’s economy

Media Release
Released
14/09/2020

The events which shaped the June quarter, and the statistics which tracked them, have been brought together in a new Australian Statistician's Analytical Series article 'A series of unprecedented events – the June quarter 2020'.

The June quarter 2020 was dominated by a global collapse in economic activity driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, along with community and government responses to seek to limit its spread. The economic indicators for Australia in the June quarter charted rises and falls of unprecedented size.

The Australian Statistician, Dr David Gruen, said: "One after another, statistical records toppled in the June quarter, demonstrating the unprecedented impact on Australia of the pandemic.”

“We saw a 9.8 per cent fall in hours worked while JobKeeper ($31b in the quarter) and Boosting Cash Flow for Employers ($16b) were the largest and second largest subsidies ever recorded in the National Accounts.”

“Childcare prices fell 95.0 per cent in the quarter, rents recorded their first quarterly fall on record (-1.3 per cent) while there was a record quarterly fall in household spending (-12.1 per cent) and for the year it was another record fall (-2.6 per cent).”

“In addition, new housing loan commitments fell by their largest amount on record in May (-11.6 per cent), quarter-on-quarter GDP fell by the largest amount on record (-7.0 per cent) and General Government net saving recorded the largest negative outcome on record (-$82.6 billion).”

“Measuring the impact of these events as accurately as possible provides the evidence base to enable individuals, businesses and governments to make informed decisions, as well as providing a record of how the economy responded.”

“This quarter will be one that Australians won't forget,” Dr Gruen said.

The article, the second in the Australian Statistician’s Analytical Series, brings together key ABS economic data including the National and International Accounts, the Labour Force Survey, Weekly Payroll Jobs and Wages statistics, price indexes and government finance statistics, and builds on the March quarter analysis of the pandemic’s impact.

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