MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Australia will raise its economic growth forecast for 2022 during the mid-year budget review, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said on Sunday, adding that it was too early to estimate the impact of the variant. of the Omicron coronavirus on the economic outlook.
Frydenberg is due to provide a budget update in the coming weeks, midway through Australia’s fiscal year that ends in June.
Australia’s economy shrank 1.9% in the third quarter as the Delta epidemic put half of the population in lockdown, though a rapid recovery is underway as the country establishes vaccination rate unprecedented.
“The market is coming back strongly,” Frydenberg said in an interview with the Australian Broadcast Corporation’s “Insiders” program, pointing to figures showing growth in employment and retail sales.
“This is because we now have one of the highest vaccination rates in the world, one of the lowest death rates in the world.”
Health data shows that 88% of Australians over 16 are fully vaccinated and almost 93% have received a dose.
When asked if Omicron, the new variant which has also spread to Australia, would pose a threat to the economic outlook as reported by the International Monetary Fund, Frydenberg said there should be no panic. .
“It is too early to make any conclusive decisions or estimates on the economy as a result of Omicron,” Frydenberg said.
He did not say whether the expected upgrade to growth would be for the 2022 calendar year, which begins in July. The budget released in May forecast a 4.5% expansion for fiscal year 2021-2022 before slowing to 2.5% the following year.