David Bassanese, chief economist at BetaShares Capital, said bushfires across Australia could be a serious drag on economic growth, with tourism and fire departments bearing the brunt. At least 24 people have been killed, 500 million animals burned and thousands forced to evacuate their homes, according to official figures. In addition to devastating loss of life and property, Australians should also be prepared for a slowdown, Mr Bassanis warned on Monday.
“Of course, from a broader economic point of view, this is not helpful,” he said. So, from a macro perspective, it could have a negative impact on consumer confidence, which is currently very fragile, which is a huge drag on economic growth. “
Mr Bassanis said it was important for the Australian government to work towards a global climate change policy and urged Canberra to be at the forefront of tackling climate change. “In fact, Australia will be one of the countries most affected by climate change,” he said. “
“I think the (RBA) should do more,” Mr Bassanis said, adding that he expected the bank to cut interest rates twice in the first half of the year.
“Even before the fire, given the weakness of the economy, I would expect them to cut rates twice more, ” he said. A rate cut in February is still very likely, and then another cut in the coming months. “