Consumer confidence is a timely measure of what Australian households think about their own finances and the state of the economy overall. In the week ending 29 March, the ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence index plunged to the lowest level in the nearly-50-year history of that series.
The lessons from overseas are clear: unless Australians comprehensively comply with spatial distancing, those measures won’t work and our hospitals will be over-run.
It’s clear than many Australian households will need help if they loose their livelihoods through the COVID-19 crisis. They should be a high priority for the Morrison Government as it puts together its second economic support package.
The less people are physically near each other, the lower the rate of transmission of coronavirus. That’s why ‘social distancing’ – or more accurately, spatial distancing – is a key strategy to slow the spread of the virus.
The impact of the new measures by the Australian Government will take time to show up in official COVID-19 cases. It’s a step in the right direction, but we are unlikely to see the flow-through to lower case numbers for another week.
Over a third of Australian workers don’t have paid sick leave. They’re in a vulnerable position.
Australia currently has 100 diagnosed cases of coronavirus, as of 10 March. Countries that have hit the 100 case threshold fall into two camps: those that saw rapid spread of the disease, and those with a managed case load. Australia should act as soon as possible to ensure we join the latter camp.