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$50 billion stimulus needed: UBS

  • July 28 2020
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Invest

$50 billion stimulus needed: UBS

By Cameron Micallef
July 28 2020

Despite debt soaring to wartime levels, one of the largest investment banks believes the government will need to reach into its back pocket and spend a further $50 billion to keep the country afloat.

stimulus

$50 billion stimulus needed: UBS

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  • July 28 2020
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Despite debt soaring to wartime levels, one of the largest investment banks believes the government will need to reach into its back pocket and spend a further $50 billion to keep the country afloat.

stimulus

Research released by UBS has explained how the government will need to spend even more as the impact of Victoria’s lockdown rolls through the economy and unemployment climbs to 9.25 per cent.

“The government’s comments suggest that there will be more stimulus coming through in the 6 October budget.”

UBS economist George Tharenou said on a media call: “We think that will be part of a broader reform package, and we added $50 billion to our expectations for stimulus last week.”

Mr Tharenou believes the most likely form of stimulus will come in the form of another extension to JobKeeper and JobSeeker – costing between $10 billion and $13 billion, assuming payment rates are tapered again – as well as more support for businesses to encourage investment and bringing forward tax cuts for households to next year. 

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“You’re going to have an outlook for growth that is positive from the stimulus coming through the economy but also with some negatives from the Victoria shutdown,” Mr Tharenou said, adding that stronger than expected retail and trade data could mean the economy had contracted less than expected. 

Mr Tharenou also expects the government will significantly increase its infrastructure spend, broaden items covered by GST, and transition payments to state governments to encourage and fund a switch from “inefficient” stamp duty to land tax. 

However, September’s fiscal cliff still looms large over proceedings. 

“Our estimate on the fiscal cliff has been reduced by the extension of some of these stimulus measures, but it still remains very large at $80 billion, or 16 per cent of quarterly GDP,” Mr Tharenou said. 

Impact of spending

While the government is continuing to help support the Australian economy, the budget deficit is continuing to grow, UBS stated.

“We now estimate total government (included states) fiscal stimulus is $214 billion or 11 per cent of GDP. Government comments indicate further material fiscal support by the ‘full budget’ in October, which we assume eventually gets the 2020-21 deficit to our $213 billion forecast.”

UBS projects that growth will recover to 2.6 per cent in 2021 as domestic and international borders reopen. The RBA is expected to keep interest rates on hold, while there is “limited reason” to restart its quantitative easing program unless lockdowns persist for longer than expected.

$50 billion stimulus needed: UBS
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About the author

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Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

About the author

Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

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