The possible economic consequences of a coronavirus pandemic

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How will industries and households respond when subjected to a ‘shock’ to the normal order of activities - like the Coronavirus.

The Australia Matters campaign last year identified key issues that should be top of mind for business leaders; The economic reality check every business must take showcased how Australia’s economic growth remains persistently lower than at any point in the past two decades. The forecast was predicted to fall even further due to a perfect storm of falling household incomes, wage stagnation, and stalling productivity. 

Now a new threat has arisen with the expanding economic consequences of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). New PwC modeling shows that a pandemic could generate negative economic outcomes in all countries and regions on the basis that the Coronavirus lowers both output and productivity.

We estimate that, over a year, Australia’s GDP could fall by A$34.2 billion, or 1.3%. To put this in context, at the peak of the GFC global GDP declined by 5.2%.

Similarly, household consumption, which is a better measure of community welfare, is projected to decline by A$37.9 billion over the forecast year. 

This new economic stagnation presents business and government leaders with a possible future of economic contraction in the short term.

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Throughout 2020 we will be deep diving into the issues raised in the PwC Australia Matters series. Only together can we solve these important problems and navigate the country through what is predicted to be a testing year for the economy. We call this, The Together Effect. Contact us to help become part of the solution.

Contact us

Jeremy Thorpe

Chief Economist & Partner, PwC Australia

Tel: +61 (2) 8266 4611

James Loughridge

Manager, Economics and Policy, PwC Australia

Tel: +44 (0)78 0266 0106

Kieran McCann

National Thought Leadership Manager, PwC Australia

Tel: +61 (2) 8266 0252

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