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JUNE 2021: What’s new in the economic zoo Posted on June 20, 2021

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The National Australia Bank held an economic breakfast earlier this month to update us on the current state of play at a national level, as well as local Central Coast impact. Here are some of the key insights on investment markets from their Director of Economics and Markets.

Australia’s recovery from the COVID crisis has been remarkable, with GDP now at pre-pandemic levels. Unemployment has fallen to below 5.5% much earlier than expected, and consumers are spending with confidence. Indeed, cafes are operating at 4% higher than their pre-pandemic levels.

The Markets have performed relatively strongly, although with the volume of fiscal stimulus injected into the global economy, markets are likely to price in the risk of inflation. The Australian dollar is likely to reach $0.83 by the end of the year, with yields set to rise moderately.

For the Central Coast specifically, pressure on housing availability, and an increase in property values is likely to continue as hybrid working arrangements encourage a sea change for many Sydney-siders. Domestic tourism is set to continue at boom levels, which is good news for local hospitality and lifestyle providers.

The COVID vaccine rollout will gain momentum, further fuelling political and consumer confidence. Interestingly, Israel has led the world in a case study of just how effective the vaccine is for economic recovery. They experienced a wave of up to 9,000 cases per day in January and February, and have reduced cases down to 19 per day in May. The advice from economists is to vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate. This will reduce the risk of lockdowns, business closures and impact to consumer confidence, and increase the chances of borders reopening, wages growth and consumer spending on services.

The advice for businesses is to be bullish, but not overconfident, and for investors, to prepare for further volatility.

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