Before looking at the economy, we need to look at Australia’s case numbers, with only 26 new cases being reported on the 21st April compared to 460 new cases at its peak in late March. It seems that the dramatic health impacts Australia was bracing for have now come to pass. On top of the public health success, Australia’s strong response to the crisis has likely limited the economic impact of the crisis as well.
Even still, Phillip Lowe is declaring that “National output is likely to fall by around 10 per cent over the first half of 2020, with most of this decline taking place in the June quarter.” We are still struggling with issues such as the potential bankruptcy of Virgin Australia, and the possible decline in inflation due to the oil shocks which brought the price of crude oil theoretically negative over the last week.
Even as the situation is likely to continue for the foreseeable future, there are signs of a slow transition back to some sense of normality. Schools are planned to be gradually re-opened and governments are getting a clearer idea of how contact tracing would work with Google and Apple developing tracking technology, and countries like South Korea showing how extensive contact tracing and testing can slow down the virus even without a lockdown.