PRINT BENEFITS AS ECONOMY SURGES BACK FROM COVID
The Australian economy has grown bigger and faster than anyone predicted, with print businesses riding the wave of business and consumer spending.
Presses across the country are running again, and reflecting the economy, many at pre-Covid levels. Trade shops, a barometer of the industry, reports that even in the Victorian lockdown, they are working at high levels. Both CMYKhub and Marvel Binding for instance tell Print21 they are currently enjoying good order levels and are running to the same delievery schedule as pre-lockdown.
According to the newly released National Accounts the domestic economy is now larger than it was pre-Covid, although economists fear that the surge in demand, driven by the government's largesse, may fizzle out.
They also point to the ongoing Covid lockdowns in Melbourne, the closed international borders, and the relatively slow vaccine rollout, as obstacles to continued growth.
However, Australia's GDP rose 1.8 per cent from January to March, sending the annual figure up to 1.1 per cent. The first quarter result exceeded even the revised expectations of economists.
The economy grew by 8.7 per cent as it surged out of the Covid recession, with investment in machinery and equipment booming, up by 11.6 per cent over the same period last year. It was the biggest growth in plant and equipment investment in a decade. The government's instant asset write down, which continues for another year at least, was credited with helping drive the business spend.
Household spending was up by 1.2 per cent in the March quarter, although it is still 1.5 per cent below pre-pandemic levels. Household savings is at record levels, leaving the government unsure whether people will spend their cash or keep it tucked away.
A bullish treasurer, Josh Frydnebrg said: “Today’s National Accounts have confirmed Australia’s economy is now bigger than it was pre-pandemic, a feat no major advanced economy has achieved. We’re continuing to lead the world in our economic comeback - with our economy growing by 1.8 per cent in the March quarter.
He said: “Australia is leading the global economic recovery. In just over a year, the Australian economy has recovered what it lost, faster than any recovery from a major downturn in Australia’s recent history. Our strong economic recovery is something all Australians can be proud of.”