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Treasurer reveals pandemic's deep economic impact


Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has unveiled a horror economic forecast for the June quarter, in the wake of coronavirus restrictions crippling businesses nationwide and throwing hundreds of thousands of workers out of their jobs.

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In a ministerial statement on what waw meant to be federal Budget day, Frydenberg revealed Treasury forecast a 10 per cent drop in GDP for the June quarter, worth $50 billion –  equivalent to total quarterly production of SA, Tasmania, NT and the ACT.

It would represent the biggest fall on record.

Household consumption was forecast to drop by 16 per cent, with business and dwelling investment both down by 18 per cent.

Household savings were set to increase, with Treasury delivering an updated fiscal outlook in June after March quarter national accounts.

But Treasury data on hand showed job ads halved in April, while activity in construction, manufacturing and services recorded their largest ever monthly falls.

New motor vehicle sales dropped by 48 per cent, and house sales by 40 per cent.

Domestic and international air travel was down more than 97 per cent, the number of jobs fell 7.5 per cent and the wages bill paid by businesses fell 8.2 per cent.

Accommodation and food services lost 33.4 per cent of jobs, followed by the arts and recreation sector which lost 27 per cent.

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