CANBERRA, AAP – The economic damage from having over half the population in COVID-19 lockdown will be revealed in figures over the next week.
The September quarter national accounts on December 1 are seen as ancient history by some economists, given there are already signs of the economy rebounding.
But they will show whether growth forecasts for the year can still be met.
Treasury secretary Steven Kennedy told senators last month he expects the economy contracted by around three per cent in the September quarter as a result of the Delta variant hitting NSW, Victoria and the ACT.
If correct, it would represent the second largest contraction in growth in the history of the national accounts – the record being seven per cent in the June quarter of last year and during the nation’s first recession in nearly 30 years.
Some economists believe the September contraction could be closer to four per cent.
What is known so far is that retail spending fell 4.4 per cent in the September quarter, the largest quarterly decline on record.
The economic growth jigsaw continues on Wednesday when the Australian Bureau of Statistics releases construction work completed during the quarter.
Economists’ forecasts point to a three per cent decline for the September quarter, although predictions range from a six per cent drop to a modest 0.5 per cent rise.
On Thursday, the ABS will release private sector capital expenditure for the quarter and future business investment intentions, while data for company profits, business inventories, international trade and government spending will be issued early next week.