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Financial News: Australia's Bushfires To Reduce GDP Growth, Says RBA

Australia's Bushfires To Reduce GDP Growth, Says RBA Chief

02/05/2020 - 01:37:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Philip Lowe said the economic impact of the bushfires in the areas affected is very large.

Although growth for 2020 as a whole will be largely unaffected by bushfires, it is estimated to reduce GDP growth by around 0.2 percentage points across the two quarters, he told the National Press Club luncheon on Wednesday.

A new uncertainty affecting the outlook is the outbreak of the coronavirus, Lowe said.

It is too early to tell what the overall impact, Lowe noted. Due to China's rising size and integration, the international spillovers could be larger than they were back in 2003 during SARS outbreak.

Nonetheless, the governor noted that dark clouds that were hanging over the global economy last year have lightened a little recently.

With the progress on the trade and Brexit issues, there have been some signs that the downswing in manufacturing activity and international trade is coming to an end, Lowe added.

According to RBA, the Australia's economy will grow 2.75 percent this year and 3 percent in 2021. These rates were higher that the outcome for 2018 and 2019 as the economy was passing through a gentle turning point for the better, he said.

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