Aussie households save $200b during COVID
Australian households and business have saved more than $200 billion during the COVID-19 pandemic as economic lifelines and reduced spending opportunities saw people clamp down on their wallets.
The figures, revealed by Treasury, show deposits into savings accounts by households alone grew by more than $100 billion in the 12 months to the end of November.
Likely reasons for the saving boost include the inability to go on family holidays during COVID-19 restrictions, concerns over job security leading to "rainy day" savings and simply reduced spending opportunities as shops nationwide were forced to close their doors.
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Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the savings boost will provide a platform for Australia's economic recovery from the worst of the pandemic.
"These are families, these are businesses. An additional $200 billion is now on household balance sheets that was not there last year," Mr Frydenberg said.
"This is a function of government's increased economic support, a higher savings ratio as people are cautious as well as those health restrictions which meant Australians couldn't go about and spend their money in their normal way.
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"This money will help underpin our economic recovery and avoid a fiscal cliff as some of the support measures start to taper off."
The Treasurer said it was not his place to tell anybody how or where to spend their money, but he was confident that much of it would go towards boosting Australia's economy.
Currently the country's most critical economic lifeline in JobKeeper is costed until March 28, 2021.
JobSeeker and the Coronavirus Supplement payment has been extended until March 31, 2021.
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During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 Australia dipped into a recession after recording two consecutive quarters in which the nation's GDP dropped.
In December Australia exited the recession after posting a substantial GDP recovery. Despite the near-record recovery, Mr Frydenberg said climbing out of the hole created by the virus would not be easy.
"Technically the recession is over, but the recovery is not," Mr Frydenberg said at the time.
"We know that a lot of Australian families are in a pretty tough financial situation and a number of Australians are still out of work."
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