Key economic related points from the PM’s conference yesterday 03/05/2020:

  • Just over 1.5 million Australians have applied for JobSeeker – 900,000 claims have been processed in the past six weeks
  • Unemployment is expected to rise to 10 per cent
  • 650,000 businesses have applied for JobKeeper
  • 950,000 Australians have requested early super access
  • 340,000 businesses have received a cash flow boost ($6 billion)
  • 6.8 million Australians have received the one-off payment
  • Net overseas migration to fall by a third on the 18/19 levels in 19/20 – and much more the following year

This morning 04/05/2020:

  • US Secretary of State Pompeo claims ‘enormous evidence’ that virus originated in Wuhan lab, and that it was ‘man-made’.
    • Contradicts official US intelligence community assessment that Covid-19 ‘was not man-made or genetically modified.’
    • Pompeo has also claimed that ‘China has a history of infecting the world’
  • Liberal Senator Sarah Henderson says all virus research with foreign nationals should be halted until a safety and national security review is done. (Australian).
  • South Australia set to remove intrastate travel ban within days, and encourage citizens to stay in beach towns, wine regions and holiday homes. (Australian)
  • Spending per person has declined 20 per cent since pre-pandemic levels, and spending has reduced as the crisis has progressed, according to AlphaBeta. (SMH)
  • ALP Home Affairs shadow Keneally’s call for reduced migration has received cautious support from unions but some internal criticism for moving beyond party position (SMH):
    • the issue had been discussed within shadow Cabinet but no policy decision had been made, according to multiple senior sources.
    • Michelle Grattan says that the speech was cleared with Labor leader Albanese’s office.
  • Centre Alliance Senator Rex Patrick has written to Minister Cormann urging that government procurement rules be changed to favour Australian suppliers. (SMH)
  • A group of countries including Australia have been discussing building business and tourism ties post-crisis, including opening up their borders to each other to each other over time. (WSJ)
    • They are deemed to be countries that have made progress in combating the virus – Australia, Austria, Israel, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Greece and New Zealand.
    • Austria’s Chancellor Kurz initiated the discussions; their first virtual meeting was last week, and they will meet every two weeks by teleconference.
  • British Cabinet Minister Gove says the government is looking at staggered work shifts to reduce load on public transport at any one time.