Coronavirus: Early signs point towards a “frozen” economy with some personal services evaporating.

The Australian economy is showing signs of being put on hold today with actually 32% fewer GST cancellations of sole traders in March 2020 vs March 2019. There were also 9% fewer company GST cancellations. This of course despite greatly reduced economic activity.

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Businesses involving daily customer contact look hardest hit in 2020, with two thirds of businesses containing restaurant, training or care in their names closing in March 2020 (out of the total for March 2019 and March 2020). More abstract services like super and marketing held strong in 2020 and were far more likely to be lost last March.

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GST tends to update in bursts and of course many businesses may be still running just to complete existing orders. April will be interesting to see! Data from the Australian Business Register.