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Treasurer warns of ‘long, hard road ahead’ as recession ends

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

Josh Frydenberg says even though Australia’s recession was now officially over, the path towards economic recovery was going to be difficult.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has moved to dispel fears Australians will be worse off when JobKeeper comes to an end in March, as the country comes out of recession.

New data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) showed that the nation's Gross Domestic Product – or GDP – rose 3.3 per cent in the September quarter.

Throughout 2020, Australia's GDP in total has fallen 3.8 per cent.

But with JobKeeper ending in just over three months, there is concern more businesses will collapse, bringing further job losses.

Mr Frydenberg told Today "the economy is now getting back on track" but "there's certainly a long, hard road ahead".

"There are a lot of Australians who are doing it tough," Mr Frydenberg said.

"And we will continue to be there to support them as we did from the start of this crisis, through this crisis, right to the end of this crisis.

"There are a whole range of economic measures that the government has announced that will continue well into next year and the year after."

They include they JobMaker hiring credit, which will see employers receive support to take on unemployed workers, investment incentives for businesses allowing them to buy, sell, install, service and maintain assets, and investments in infrastructure.

But Australia's relationship with China – our biggest trading partner – is under increasing strain.

"Certainly, that is a very challenging relationship right now," Mr Frydenberg said.

"We want to get that relationship back to where it was and we're willing to engage in a respectful bilateral dialogue.

"But obviously that is difficult at this time."

China is a major market for Australian wine exports.

Australia was now looking forward to "opening up new markets" with other trading partners, including Indonesia, Japan and Korea, to help Australian producers, the treasurer said.

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Mr Frydenberg also pointed to the rollout of a COVID-19 vaccine in the UK, saying things were on track for a March distribution in Australia.

"In the budget, I had an expectation and a forecast that a vaccine would be rolled out across the country by the end of next year," Mr Frydenberg said.

"If that occurs six months earlier, that will provide a $34 billion boost to the Australian economy.

"Any vaccine that is earlier than what we expected at budget time is up side for the economy."

Source: 9News

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