Quarterly report paints Victoria’s grim economic picture

Tonight’s release of the latest ANZ Stateometer report shows Victorians are experiencing some of the worst economic effects in the country following the state’s toughest COVID-19 lockdown restrictions.

The report is not good news for homeowners or residential mum-and-dad investors with the state’s reliance on international tourism having weakened the housing market more than other states. Housing prices started falling in April. Rental listings have increased sharply with inner Melbourne rentals up 36 per cent.

The report warns that slowing demand for housing will continue to flow through to housing construction, which was already declining at the start of the crisis.

Victoria also comes out worst on the report’s underemployment rate which has increased the most of any state or territory. In April, the number of Victorians wanting a job or more work jumped to 14.1 per cent from 8.5 per cent in March.

The Andrews Government strict lockdowns which have been the heaviest in the country has also hit local businesses. The report found Victoria’s retail spending growth up just two per cent, the lowest in the country.

The State Government’s March Quarterly Report released last week showed that through poor and reckless financial management the Victorian Government’s capacity to respond to the economic impacts of lockdown restrictions has been significantly impacted by a budget in deficit and record government debt before COVID-19. Australian Bureau of Statistic’s Labour force number released last week showed 127,100 Victorians lost their jobs in April.

The Liberal Nationals released a plan to get Victoria back to work and back in business last week. The plan is a roadmap for the state’s economic recovery. While Daniel Andrews remains dogged in his approach to the state’s lockdown, he has no plan to address the economic devastation caused by COVID-19.

Comments attributable to Shadow Treasurer, Louise Staley:

“Victoria has always been the economic powerhouse of the country and to come in well behind New South Wales and the national average on this economic report card shows just how much of an impact Daniel Andrews’s strict lockdowns have had.

“Day-after-day, Daniel Andrews’s lack of a jobs plan is becoming clearer. Last week it was the tragedy of 127,100 Victorians losing their jobs, today it’s more proof we are lagging behind other states and have the biggest increase in people looking for work or needing more hours of work. 

“Victorian households and businesses urgently need a government with a plan to address our economic emergency so we can get Victorians back to work rather than swelling the unemployment queue.”

Media contact:   Mitch Grayson   0427 03 670   mitch.grayson@opposition.vic.gov.au