Lucky no more? Australia’s golden economy faces long road to virus recovery

first_imgTopics : This time, she hasn’t been so lucky.”I have been hit hard in this recession,” said Gulin, who was laid off in April as the marketing director of the ANZ Stadium in Sydney, prompting her to ditch her rented house in the city and move back to her home in Melbourne.Gulin is among the hundreds of thousands who have lost their livelihoods overnight to the COVID-19 pandemic as Australia suffers its first recession in 30 years and its unemployment rate hits a 19-year high of 7.1%.Even though Australia’s economy was among the first to reopen after lockdowns worldwide and earlier than the government expected, it contracted 0.3% in the first quarter and a new wave of coronavirus cases could put a recovery at risk. Women have been particularly hard hit.The unemployment rate for females looking for full-time work surged to 8.3% in May from 5.4% in February before coronavirus-driven shutdowns kicked in. That compares with 7% for men from 4.8% in February.”Australia is known as the lucky country but I am not very lucky at the moment,” Gulin, who is receiving government welfare payments, told Reuters.”I have been talking to a few people about some opportunities but nothing has come up yet.”Vulnerable servicesDuring the unprecedented run of growth, Australia transformed into an open, services-driven economy, feeding China’s rise with its mineral and commodity wealth and shedding much of its manufacturing capability.The services sector accounts for almost two-thirds of Australia’s A$2 trillion ($1.4 trillion) annual economic output – but is now particularly vulnerable to the closure of national borders and social distancing measures to tame coronavirus.”The tourism-dependent economies are the ones we worry about the most,” said Citi’s global chief economist, Catherine Mann.Mann sees a V-shaped rebound for manufacturing generally but for the services or consumer discretionary sector, “it is absolutely an L-shaped recovery,” she said, meaning it could take a while for growth to fully recover.”What was lost in the early part of this year will never be recovered from the standpoint of revenues for a company.”Virus shadowPolicymakers, too, are worried about the long road back to economic health.The Reserve Bank of Australia has pledged to keep its benchmark cash rate at a record low 0.25% until there is progress in achieving its employment and inflation goals.”We’re going to have low interest rates for a long period of time,” central bank Governor Philip Lowe said last week, adding that there would be “a shadow from the virus for quite a few years.””People will be more risk averse, they won’t want to borrow. In Australia, we’re going to have lower population dynamics,” Lowe said, referring to the idea that fewer foreigners entering the country would lead to lower consumer demand and a tighter labor market.Puja Basnet, an international student from Nepal, is reconsidering her options in Australia after losing her part-time job as a waitress.”I was at home for two months without work and I have almost run out of my savings. As a non-Australian I don’t even have access to Centrelink,” she said, referring to government welfare payments.For Basnet, the future is even more challenging as more people are now jostling for each job.An L-shaped recovery also means the unemployment rate will stay higher for longer.”I am really worried about the future. I have been applying for 30-40 jobs a week but there has been zero responses.” center_img Coronavirus has done to Australia what even the global financial crisis couldn’t: abruptly end a record growth run and help trigger a deep recession from which the country will take time to recover.While Australia has had great success so far in heading off the pandemic, with just over 100 deaths, the cure of shutting out the rest of the world means massive hits to three key growth drivers – tourism, education and immigration.Fiona Gulin was 18 when the last recession hit Australia in the early 1990s. Back then, she managed to keep a part-time job at a music publication, before moving on to full-time work and a lucrative career in the entertainment industry.last_img read more

Teachers protest across US over re-opening schools in pandemic

first_img“Cases up because of BIG Testing! Much of our Country is doing very well. Open the Schools!” Trump tweeted on Monday.While reported case numbers may be linked to more testing, recent increases in hospitalizations and deaths have no connection to more people being tested for the virus.The United States is in a new phase of the outbreak with infections in rural areas as well as cities, Deborah Birx, the coordinator of Trump’s coronavirus task force, said on Sunday.”What we are seeing today is different from March and April. It is extraordinarily widespread,” Birx said on CNN’s “State of the Union” program.On Monday, Trump lashed out at Birx for her comments. Trump accused Birx of capitulating to criticism from Democrats that the federal government’s response to the pandemic has been ineffective.”So Crazy Nancy Pelosi said horrible things about Dr. Deborah Birx, going after her because she was too positive on the very good job we are doing on combatting the China Virus, including Vaccines & Therapeutics. In order to counter Nancy, Deborah took the bait & hit us. Pathetic!” Trump wrote.House of Representatives Speaker Pelosi said on CNN on Monday that Birx has “enabled” Trump, who played down the seriousness of the virus in the early stages and pushed for a quick reopening of the economy and schools following weeks of lockdowns.”I don’t have confidence in anyone who stands there while the President says swallow Lysol and it’s going to cure your virus,” Pelosi said in a reference to Trump at a coronavirus briefing in April with Birx present.Trump had asked whether injecting disinfectant into the body could be a treatment for the virus, leading makers of those products to issue warnings against doing so. Teachers are also demanding financial help for parents in need, including rent and mortgage assistance, a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures and cash assistance.Many of these issues are at the center of a political tussle in Washington, where Congressional Democrats and Trump administration officials will resume talks on Monday aimed at hammering out a coronavirus economic relief bill after missing a deadline to extend benefits to tens of millions of jobless Americans.The coronavirus, which first appeared in China late last year, has infected 4.6 million people in the United States and killed more than 155,000 Americans since February, according to a Reuters tally. Deaths rose by over 25,000 in July and cases doubled in 19 states during the month.President Donald Trump has made school re-openings for classroom instruction, as they normally would in August and September, part of his re-election campaign. The Republican president is trailing in opinion polls against Democratic candidate Joe Biden ahead of the Nov. 3 election. Teachers and support staff at more than 35 school districts across the United States on Monday are protesting the re-opening of schools while COVID-19 is surging in many parts of the country.They are demanding in-person classes not be held until scientific data supports it, safety protocols such as lower class sizes and virus testing are established, and schools are staffed with adequate numbers of counselors and nurses, according to a website set up for the demonstrations.On Twitter, the Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association showed protesters making fake gravestones that said “Here lies a third grade student from Green Bay who caught COVID at school” and “RIP Grandma caught COVID helping grand kids with homework.”center_img Topics :last_img read more

Young families making presence felt in market

first_imgThe home at 7 Ashbrook Drive, Morayfield sold for $426,000.A FAMILY home in Morayfield sold after strong interest from buyers keen for the popular location.The property at 7 Ashbrook St sold via private treaty for $426,000. Sell Exclusive marketing agent Adam Parry said the four-bedroom home attracted “above average” interest for the local market. “We took about 12 groups through the home over a period of 20 days,” he said. “And we had multiple people going to offer on the place.” The buyers of 7 Ashbrook Drive, Morayfield were impressed by the layoutMore from newsLand grab sees 12 Sandstone Lakes homesites sell in a week21 Jun 2020Tropical haven walking distance from the surf9 Oct 2019Mr Parry said buyers liked the location close to everything on offer in Morayfield. “The successful buyers particularly like the layout of the home and the space,” Mr Parry said. “And the vendors were ecstatic with the sale.”Mr Parry said the Morayfield market had been performing well for the past two years. “A few years ago Morayfield was rated as No. 2 across Australia for family affordability and that created a lot of interest.“Morayfield is pretty much the best spot in the area for families — it’s affordable and close enough to the city to commute for work.” The home at 7 Ashbrook Drive, Morayfield proved popular with buyersMr Parry said most buyers were young families looking for value for money. “We’ve seen a lot of new buyers on scene since February. Some are still in the approval phase,” he said. “They’re coming from all over including Sydney, Coffs Harbour and even the Northern Territory and Western Australia. “We’ve even sold a couple of properties sight unseen because the market is moving so rapidly.”last_img read more

Serena survives scare to set Andreescu title clash

first_img“I’ve never faced her, but I’ve kind of become a fan with everyone rooting and cheering so hard,” Williams said. “It’s kind of been contagious, the ‘Bianca Effect.’”Kenin admitted the raucous support of Andreescu affected her.“I don’t play in those kind of conditions, so it’s not like I can practice,” Kenin said. “I tried to just block it out and do the best I can.”– Serena ‘grooved in’ –Andreescu shot to prominence with a victory at Indian Wells in March, but this week marks her first tournament since she was forced out of the French Open with a shoulder injury.“I’ve been through so much the last two months,” Andreescu said. “All I can say is that I’m just so happy to be back on court right now. My shoulder’s good. I’m in the finals of the Rogers Cup. Life’s freaking amazing.”Williams is getting the kind of physical test — matches five days in a row — that she hasn’t had since she last reached a non-Grand Slam WTA final — at the 2016 Italian Open.“It’s definitely different for me,” said Williams, who has been limited by injuries this season but said this week she was “pain free”.“I definitely feel more grooved in. I feel good still. So I’ve been doing a lot of training and all the right things — so we’ll see how I feel (Sunday).”Share on: WhatsApp Battling back: Serena Williams on the way to a come-from-behind victory over Czech qualifier Marie Bouzkova in the semi-finals of the WTA tournament in TorontoToronto, Canada | AFP | Serena Williams withstood the determined challenge of Czech qualifier Marie Bouzkova Saturday, rallying for a 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 victory to reach the WTA Toronto final.Williams, seeded eighth in a tournament she has won three times, will take on home hope Bianca Andreescu in the championship match on Sunday.Williams will be seeking her first title since she won her 23rd Grand Slam title at the 2017 Australian Open — and her first since the birth of her daughter Olympia on September 1 of that year.Meanwhile 19-year-old Andreescu will be trying to become the first Canadian in 50 years to lift the trophy.Bouzkova, 21 and ranked 91st in the world, had said it was a dream come true to take on 37-year-old US superstar Williams, and she made a dream start — breaking Williams three times to take the first set in less than half an hour.But Williams rallied, slashing her unforced errors in a second set that saw her win the last four games to force the decider.“I just needed to be more consistent and not make so many errors and just mentally be ready to hit a thousand balls if I needed to,” Williams said. “In the first set, I was going for a little too much, so I just had to just play a different game.”The hard work wasn’t over, as Williams had to fight off three break points in the third game of the third set.She broke Bouzkova in the next game to finally take control and end the Czech’s breakout week.Bouzkova departs Toronto having beaten three straight Grand Slam winners in Sloane Stephens, Jelena Ostapenko and, in the quarter-finals, reigning Wimbledon champion Simona Halep — who retired injured after dropping the first to Bouzkova on Friday night.Williams said she was looking forward to taking on Andreescu, whose run to the final has electrified Toronto crowds.last_img read more