Economists are just starting to see the tip of the iceberg of economic damage as a result of COVID-19.
Australia's economy contracted 0.3 per cent in the March quarter, according to official figures that mostly predate the economic damage from the COVID-19 lockdowns.
Gross domestic product grew just 1.4 per cent in the 12 months to March 31 as the economy took a hit from the bushfires and the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said today.
"This was the slowest through-the-year growth since September 2009 when Australia was in the midst of the global financial crisis and captures just the beginning of the expected economic effects of COVID-19," ABS chief economist Bruce Hockman said.
READ MORE: A recession in Australia: What it means for ordinary mums and dads
Public demand contributed 0.3 per cent percentage points to GDP, driven by a 1.8 per cent rise in public spending as governments responded to the bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Private demand subtracted 0.8 percentage points from GDP, driven mostly by a 1.1 per cent fall in household spending as air transport stopped and hotels, cafes and restaurants closed.
More to come.
For breaking news alerts and livestreams straight to your smartphone sign up to the 9News app and set notifications to on at the App Store or Google Play.
You can also get up-to-date information from the Federal Government's Coronavirus Australia app, available on the App Store, Google Play and the Government's WhatsApp channel.
Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/coronavirus-australia-gdp-falls-as-economic-damage-of-covid-looms/a4d4ea73-aa34-4b48-9414-dffa2e00ff34