Frydenberg looks to future budget risks

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg is set to hand down the Intergenerational Report, a guide to how Australia will perform over the next 40 years and how that will impact on the budget.

Mr Frydenberg will deliver the report to a Committee for Economic Development of Australia event in Melbourne on Monday.

The five-yearly report will be the fifth in the series and was first introduced by former Liberal treasurer Peter Costello in 2002.

It aims to manage the impact of an ageing population in the future, and Mr Frydenberg has already warned that smaller population growth due to the pandemic may hamper future productivity.

Of more immediate concern for the outlook will be the impact of the lockdown arrangements in Greater Sydney and other parts of NSW where COVID-19 cases have now ballooned to 110.

The recent lockdown in Melbourne had a negative impact on both employment and spending.

“Our rough estimate is that the two-week Greater Sydney and surrounds lockdown will cost the economy around $2 billion, although much of the lost economic activity will hopefully be quickly recouped upon reopening,” AMP Capital chief economist Shane Oliver said.

Even so, it is likely to weigh on confidence, and in turn retail spending, in the near term.

The weekly ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer confidence index is due on Tuesday.

Thursday will see a flurry of data, including the CoreLogic home value index for June. Economists are expecting a further 1.5 per cent to two per cent rise in prices in the month.

In May, houses prices rose by a further 2.2 per cent to be more than 10 per cent higher over the year.

Australia’s financial regulators continue to closely monitor developments in the housing market, in particular to ensure lending standards don’t deteriorate amid the rush to get on board the housing boom.

The Reserve Bank of Australia will release its monthly credit report for May on Wednesday, which measures outstanding loans, while the Australian Bureau of Statistics will issue new lending figures on Friday.  

The international trade balance for May which is also released on Thursday is expected to show a record surplus of $10.5 billion, buoyed by iron ore exports to China, which have been running at consecutive monthly peaks despite high prices above $US200 per tonne.

On the same day, the ABS will also issue job vacancies for the May quarter, which are likely to show a record number given the strength of similar job advertising measures, a positive for an already strong labour market .

Meanwhile, Australian shares look set for a steady start to the week after the benchmark US S&P 500 index ended Friday on a record high after inflation figures eased worries that the US Federal Reserve is about to start tapering its stimulus measures.

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