SYDNEY — Just when the mood among Australians appeared to be improving after a jittery few weeks, confidence looks set to be hit again by the Covid-19 lockdown in the nation’s biggest city.
Virus infections in Sydney, which is in the first few days of a 14-day lockdown, have ballooned to 130, while there are also restrictions in Darwin and Western Australia, and the nation’s capital has moved to mandatory mask-wearing.
All of which suggests consumer confidence is likely to take a renewed hit.
The weekly ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer confidence index – a pointer to future household spending — is due on June 29.
In the previous week, the index rose 1.3 percent following a strong set of labor force figures that saw the jobless rate tumbled to 5.1 percent.
That ended a series of weak or flat confidence outcomes as a result of the Covid-19 lockdown in Melbourne.
The lockdowns are a result of the spike in the Covid cases especially the highly contagious delta variant which is seen to be on the rise in New South Wales and adjoining parts of the region. New South Wales Health released a set of guidelines for the public to ensure the transmission is kept under control.
Recent data shows that episode hit both retail spending and employment in Victoria.
The Sydney lockdown is estimated to cost the New South Wales economy AU$2 billion ($1.503 billion).
The impact of the coronavirus pandemic is set to have a lingering impact on the economy for years to come, according to the 2021 Intergenerational Report released on June 28.
The five-yearly report released by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg showed the budget will remain in deficit for the next 40 years with the effects of Covid-19 resulting in a smaller but aging population and slower economic growth.
“The fact that we are living longer is to be welcomed but the impacts on our economy and our budget are profound,” Frydenberg said.
Frydenberg tweeted “The Intergenerational Report provides an insight into what Australia might look like over the next 40 years. Our economy will continue to grow & our debt levels are sustainable. But there is more work to be done & the intergenerational report provides a guide for future decisions.”
Member of Parliament Tanya Plibersek tweeted “Hidden in the Intergenerational Report released by the Liberals yesterday is this graph which forecasts a massive decline in education spending. We should be investing more in education, not cutting. Good for the job prospects of individuals and vital to rebuilding our economy.”
Chief Executive officer of Self Managed Super Fund industry Association John Maroney tweeted “The intergenerational report (IGR) clearly illustrates the importance of building superannuation savings to offset the growing liabilities related to an aging population.”
(Edited by Vaibhav Pawar and Praveen Pramod Tewari)