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PODCAST: Inside the COVID 'crunch'

05:53pm April 22 2020

“This is a war against a virus,” says Westpac chief economist Bill Evans. 

“The shock this time is a lot sharper, very very quick, because governments have had … to voluntarily close down the economy, well we’ve never seen that before…(but) the difference this time is we think we can sort of see a way out of this.”

That’s the view of Bill Evans, Westpac’s chief economist since 1991, when asked in a new Westpac Wire podcast how the hit to the economy is likely to compare to the early 1990s recession, and what that means for consumers and businesses. 

In the podcast, which replaced his regular monthly “Bill’s Bites” take on the economy, he also discusses his latest forecasts – which include the unemployment rate rising to 9 per cent – plus this week’s speech from Reserve Bank Governor Philip Lowe, Australia’s response to COVID-19, the impact on the property market and what data to watch going forward. 


This material contains general commentary, and market colour. This material does not constitute investment advice. This information has been prepared without taking account of your objectives, financial situation or needs. We recommend that you seek your own independent legal or financial advice before proceeding with any investment decision. Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure that the assumptions on which the forecasts are based are reasonable, the forecasts may be affected by incorrect assumptions or by known or unknown risks and uncertainties. The ultimate outcomes may differ substantially from these forecasts. Except where contrary to law, Westpac and its related entities intend by this notice to exclude liability for this information.

Michael Bennet is Editor of Westpac Wire. He joined Westpac in 2017 after more than 12 years in journalism, most recently at The Australian as the national newspaper’s banking reporter based in Sydney. Michael has worked at various News Corp publications and other media companies covering industries including financial services, resources, industrials, markets and economics. He is originally from Perth, Western Australia, where he also wrote across magazines covering the arts with a focus on music.

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