Q1 GDP tipped to fall, ensuring Australian recession

The record surge in March retail sales on the back of panic buying of groceries, alongside the smaller than expected fall in construction, won’t be enough to save Q1 GDP, according to economists:

Westpac’s Andrew Hanlan said the slightly better than expected [construction] figure would not change the view of the bank’s economists that March GDP was turning negative.

“The first-quarter outcome of -1 per cent leaves our view around March quarter GDP growth unchanged – currently forecasting a decline of 0.7 per cent,” Mr Hanlan said.

Citi’s Josh Williamson expects the construction figures will shave 0.2 percentage points from GDP.

“Our March quarter GDP forecast is an optically nasty -0.9 per cent,” Mr Williamson said…

If true, this would ensure Australia’s first technical recession (i.e. two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth) since the early 1990s, given June quarter’s growth will collapse owing to the COVID-19 lockdown.

The “Lucky Country” has finally run out of luck.

Leith van Onselen

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