In a normal year we would be weeks away from the May budget and the official forecasts for the financial year ahead. This year there will be no official forecasts until October 6, the date of the postponed budget. It might be just as well. The finance minister Mathias Cormann says it is nigh impossible to make realistic and credible forecasts in the current environment. He might also be worried that publishing negative forecasts creates the risk of self-fulfilling prophecies. (It’s an important difference between economic and weather forecasting – predicting rain does not make rain more likely.) But on Tuesday Treasurer Josh Frydenberg saw fit to release details of Treasury forecasts of a 10% rate of unemployment, which he said would have been 15% were it not for the JobKeeper allowance, so such concern can’t be universal.
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|Published - 15 Apr 2020