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Victoria braces for coronavirus economic hit

Maja Garaca Djurdjevic
Maja Garaca Djurdjevic
15 May 2020 1 minute readShare
Victoria government

The coronavirus crisis has shaved 14 per cent off of Victoria’s gross state product, the state Treasurer said, following an already devastating $500 million blow to the economy as a result of the January bushfires.

The Victorian government believes its “sound management” of the economy has left it well placed to withstand the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, but the Treasurer has predicted a 14 per cent decline in the gross state product in the June quarter.

According to Treasurer Tim Pallas, the state was on track to record a $618 million budget surplus; however, the coronavirus crisis and bushfires have significantly altered the economic forecast.

“We were on course to record our sixth-straight budget surplus, but the coronavirus has hit our economy hard — as it has every economy around the country and the world,” Mr Pallas said.

The state’s latest financial report shows a deficit for the year to March of $773 million, but the full effects of the coronavirus pandemic will be shown in later financial reports.

Mr Pallas noted that, to date, more than 50,000 businesses and up to 1 million workers have benefited from the state’s $5 billion support measures, designed to keep people in jobs and help businesses through to the other side of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Now’s not the time to be chasing surpluses. Right now we’re focused on giving Victorian families, businesses and communities the support they need to get through to the other side of this crisis,” he said.

On Thursday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported a drop in employment by 594,300 people between March and April as a result of the coronavirus lockdown measures. 

The state-by-state data revealed that 127,100 Victorians lost their jobs in April, taking the unemployment rate up to 6 per cent from 5.2 per cent in March.

Victoria braces for coronavirus economic hit
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Maja Garaca Djurdjevic
Maja Garaca Djurdjevic

Maja Garaca Djurdjevic is the editor of My Business. 

Maja has a decade-long career in journalism across finance, business and politics. Now a well-versed reporter in the SME and accounting arena, prior to joining Momentum Media, Maja reported for several established news outlets in Southeast Europe, scrutinising key processes in post-conflict societies and enabling citizens to influence decision-making.

You can email Maja on [email protected] 

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