Thankfully, and better late than never, the upcoming NRL Grand Final has forced the Queensland Government to recognise the large economic costs associated with lockdowns, and it has decided not to panic this time, and surprisingly it has not yet implemented a snap lockdown in response to the latest COVID numbers. Of course, all that could change in coming days, or even later today, but for now the Government is acting sensibly. The retail trade estimates for the month of August published by the ABS yesterday remind us of the large adverse economic shock from lockdowns (see figure below). Compared with May levels, retail trade was down around 14% in NSW and 17% in ACT in August. Victoria was down nearly 6%, and this figure would have been much higher if Victoria had spent the whole month of August in lock down. Queensland retail trade was down 2.7% in August relative to May, which I expect was largely because SEQ was locked down in the first week of August.
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