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Covid-19 may be truly the wind that blows no good for any of Australia’s regions. Apart from the loss of human life and adverse health and social impacts, all regions have negative economic consequences. The speed and depth of the impacts, and the ongoing government responses to them, are unprecedented. Yet the impacts and outlooks vary across regions, as I discuss here with particular reference to the Queensland economy.
The economic impacts are occurring through several forces, including:
• Direct effects of government controls, which are limiting business operations
• Reductions in customer demand
• Flow-on effects through the economy.
There are some sectors most affected by these pressures:
• The direct effects of government controls are particularly impacting on Tourism, Hospitality, Arts & Entertainment, and Personal Services sectors. These are sectors requiring substantial travel and interpersonal contact, often involving small businesses.
• Reductions in customer demand are immediately impacting on Hospitality, Arts & Entertainment, Personal Services, and most Retail sectors. There are some increases in demand for supermarkets and liquor stores.
• Flow on effects into other sectors of the economy are beginning. For example, some health services are impacted by both shortages in supplies and reductions in demand, while reduced mobility and reductions in spending are reducing activity across the retail and services sectors.
• There are also some impacts on supply chains across all major sectors. However, most businesses are adapting to shortages in inputs rather than being forced to close.