Australia warns of GDP hit from Victoria lockdowns

SYDNEY, Aug 7 (Reuters) – Australia’s central bank on Friday warned that the latest coronavirus containment measures in Victoria state are expected to subtract at least 2 percentage points from national growth in the current quarter.

Victoria’s capital of Melbourne, Australia’s second most populous city, entered a six-week total lockdown on Thursday, shuttering shops and businesses and requiring its five million inhabitants to stay home.

In its quarterly statement on monetary policy published on Friday, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) forecast the country’s annual gross domestic product (GDP) would fall 6% in the December quarter before rising by 5% next year.

The unemployment rate is seen spiking to 10% by the end of this year while inflation is seen undershooting its 2-3% target range until Dec 2022. (Reporting by Swati Pandey and Wayne Cole; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

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