Scott Morrison offers coronavirus wage guarantee for those who have lost jobs, but details still to come

Original article by Amy Remeikis
The Guardian Australia – Page: Online : 30-Mar-20

The federal government is set to announce details of a wage guarantee in coming days. Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the wage subsidy will be in addition to the coronavirus stimulus measures that have already been announced, and it will provide income support for people who have been stood down or laid off by businesses that have closed due to the pandemic. ACTU secretary Sally McManus says the wage guarantee should be backdated and it should apply to all workers, including casuals and temporary visa holders, as well as businesses of all sizes.

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AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, ACTU

Before Morrison’s Sunday night talk to the nation over two-thirds of Australians (69%) claim they are self-isolating

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 30-Mar-20

Over two-thirds of Australians (69%) claim they are following Government directives to self-isolate as much as possible to fight the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. However, 31% say they are ‘not’ self-isolating, according to a special Roy Morgan Snap SMS survey of an Australia-wide cross-section of 2,069 Australians aged 18+ conducted on Friday March 27 and Saturday March 28. Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine says that 69% of Australians claim they are self-isolating even before Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s directive on Sunday evening to restrict public gatherings to only one other person you are not living with. She adds that this figure is remarkably high when one considers the rising fatality counts in many overseas countries. Levine says Roy Morgan will repeat this survey in the next few days to determine whether Morrison’s appeals to self-isolate in no more than groups of two and avoid contact with people will lead to a rise in Australians who claim to be self-isolating or not.

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ROY MORGAN LIMITED

Bosses, union unite to save jobs

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 4 : 25-Mar-20

The Fair Work Commission has approved temporary changes to the industry award for hospitality workers in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The agreement between the United Workers Union and the Australian Hotels Association will allow employers to reduce workers’ hours to 60 per cent of full-time or regular part-time hours; employees can also be directed to take leave at half pay with just 24 hours’ notice. The changes to the Hospitality Award will initially be in place until 30 June. Employers and unions will seek similar changes to awards covering clerks and restaurant workers.

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AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, UNITED WORKERS UNION, AUSTRALIAN HOTELS ASSOCIATION

Wage subsidies not enough for small business

Original article by John Kehoe
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 8 : 25-Mar-20

Former Treasury official Steven Hamilton has urged the federal government to increase the wage subsidies for small and medium enterprises in response to the pandemic. He warns that the SME sector will be "completely wiped out" if the government does not act, while the nation will face a long and deep recession. Andrew Boak of Goldman Sachs agrees that the government’s existing wage subsidy measures will not be sufficient to avert large-scale job losses.

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GOLDMAN SACHS AUSTRALIA GROUP HOLDINGS PTY LTD, GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY

ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence plunges to 30-year low at 72.2

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 25-Mar-20

ANZ-Roy Morgan Australian Consumer Confidence fell a massive 27.8% to 72.2 in the week ended 12 March. This fall has bought the headline index to just above the all-time lows recorded in 1990, and 17% below the lowest point seen during the global financial crisis (Oct 2008). All sub-components of the survey plunged. Current financial conditions fell 23.9% while future financial conditions dropped 25.8%. The economic conditions subindices were also down sharply, with current economic conditions falling 37.1% and future economic conditions declining by 19.1%. ‘Time to buy a major household item’ fell by 37.2%, but the four-week moving average for ‘inflation expectations was stable at 4.0%.

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ROY MORGAN LIMITED, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ

Brace for a record fall in GDP

Original article by Patrick Commins
The Australian – Page: 4 : 25-Mar-20

JPMorgan economist Ben Jarman expects GDP to fall by 10 per cent in the June quarter due to the coronavirus lockdown measures. The previous largest quarterly decline in GDP was just two per cent in 1974. Jarman also forecasts that the unemployment rate will rise to 11 per cent during the quarter, a view shared by Bill Evans of Westpac. However, Evans expects GDP to fall by just 3.5 per cent in the quarter. Westpac economists have also forecast a Budget deficit of $90bn in 2019-20 due to the federal government’s stimulus measures, and a deficit of $160bn in 2020-21.

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JP MORGAN AUSTRALIA LIMITED, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC

BBQ ban: social life not ok

Original article by Greg Brown, Simon Benson, Geoff Chambers
The Australian – Page: 1 & 5 : 25-Mar-20

The federal government has announced further restrictions as part of the coronavirus lockdown. A range of non-essential service providers will be forced to close, including beauticians, nail salons and tattoo parlours, although hairdressers and barber shops will be permitted to remain open for now. Restrictions have also been placed on the number of people who can attend weddings and funerals, while cultural institutions such as libraries and museums will be closed. Prime Minister Scott Morrison has also urged people to stay at home if possible, and he has cautioned against attending large gatherings such as barbecues and birthday parties.

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AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET

ANZ Roy Morgan Financial Wellbeing Indicator – Quarterly Update March 2020

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 23-Mar-20

The ANZ-Roy Morgan Financial Wellbeing Indicator shows that the financial wellbeing of Australians improved by 1% year on year, from 59.6 (as a score out of 100) in December 2018 to 60.2 in December 2019. Financial wellbeing improved in the 12 months to December 2019 across most states and territories. However, financial wellbeing declined slightly in Queensland and the NT, and remained constant in NSW. The lack of growth in overall financial wellbeing in NSW can be attributed to a 3.1% fall in ‘resilience for the future’ during 2019. The improvement in national financial wellbeing was despite no change in financial wellbeing in the December 2019 quarter, and was due primarily to an improvement in ‘meeting everyday commitments’, which increased by 3.2% during 2019. ‘Resilience for the future’ – the ability to cope with financial setbacks – is strongly influenced by active saving habits. After steady growth in recent years, resilience declined nationally by 1.9%, from 53.7 in December 2018 to 52.7 in December 2019. This was due primarily to a decline in the number of month’s income in savings that Australians have on hand, weakened by slower deposit growth and subdued improvements in household incomes over the period.

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ROY MORGAN LIMITED

Businessmen Dick Smith, Mike Cannon-Brookes and Andrew Forrest score highest for Net Trust

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 23-Mar-20

A special Roy Morgan survey on ‘Trust’ and ‘Distrust’ of business leaders shows Australian entrepreneurs Dick Smith, Mike Cannon-Brookes and Andrew Forrest have the highest ‘Net Trust Scores’ – meaning the ‘Trust’ felt towards the three far outweighs the ‘Distrust’ – according to a special Roy Morgan Snap SMS Survey of 974 Australians aged 14+ conducted this week. Behind the top three is Qantas CEO Alan Joyce. Also scoring highly for ‘Trust’ are Medical Leaders/Professionals and the Australian Medical Association, which is currently at the forefront of dealing with the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. At the other end of the scale are business leaders whose ‘Distrust’ outweighs their ‘Trust’ among Australians. Media proprietor Rupert Murdoch scores the highest ‘Distrust’ of any businessman, ahead of ex-politician and mining entrepreneur Clive Palmer and fellow miner Gina Rinehart. All three fill the rankings for the highest ‘Net Distrust’ and are followed by retailer Gerry Harvey of Harvey Norman. Also scoring high levels of ‘Net Distrust’ are the generic ‘Banks/Bank CEOs’ and ‘Mining companies’. Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine says Australians often look towards high-profile business people to provide leadership in times of crisis.

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ROY MORGAN LIMITED

Jobless rate could hit 13.8pc despite priming of the pump

Original article by Matthew Cranston
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 8 : 23-Mar-20

The federal government and the Reserve Bank have now announced a combined $189bn worth of coronavirus stimulus measures. This includes cash payments for small businesses and non-profit organisations. However, many companies that operate in sectors that employ a lot of people will not be eligible for financial relief. The construction, retail, hospitality, recreation and education are major employers; it is estimated that the unemployment rate would rise from 5.1 per cent to 13.8 per cent if they shed just 25 per cent of their workforce, or about 1.2 million people.

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RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA