AUD GBP Gains as New South Wales Plans Reopening

AUD GBP Higher Ahead of Employment Figures

The AUD GBP exchange rate was stronger on Monday as the state of New South Wales outlined its reopening plan from the government lockdowns. The state is nearing targets for vaccination but will see a two-tier society with vaccinated persons seeing a “stark difference” in their allowed freedoms.

The AUD to GBP exchange rate is now trading at 0.5330 after a move of 0.45%.

NSW outlining plans to reopen the state

The NSW government is set to unveil their reopening plan with their target of 80% double vaccinated. Deputy premier John Barilaro said the plan will include details of freedoms unvaccinated people can also expect.

“I can promise you this, that under the 70% road map, unvaccinated people will have very little changes to their freedoms to what they have today. It doesn’t mean we’re going to open up soon after that to unvaccinated people. If you want the freedoms we are talking about right across the board you’re going to have to be vaccinated.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said at the weekend that state premiers should honour the national reopening plan at 70% and 80% double vaccination rates, saying:

“There comes a time when you’ve got to honour the arrangement you’ve made with the Australian people, and that is when you get to 80% vaccination, it’s very clear that you can start opening up.”

But Queensland’s Steven Miles was unhappy, saying the PM should worry more about the “health and wellbeing” of people in NSW and Victoria:

“It’s not that simple and it’s misleading people to tell them that it should be that simple. I don’t think Queensland does want to just give in this close to the end of the pandemic. I don’t think Queenslanders will want to let Covid in for Christmas if we don’t have it but NSW still does.”

The Australian dollar has been hit in recent weeks by continued lockdowns and a reversal in the economic fortunes of the country.

OECD warns of slower recovery for Australian recovery

The OECD said that Australia has weathered the economic downturn better than most developed countries but could face a slower recovery when community transmission is higher.

The group also said Australia should consider lifting unemployment benefits and making greater cuts to emissions.

The latest OECD report also warned that the Aussie economy remained vulnerable to shocks including an escalation of its trade disagreements with China, a decline in fossil fuel demand, and carbon tariffs that might be imposed by its trading partners.

The treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, seized on the report’s findings which said that Australia had a “well-coordinated” response to the pandemic including “macroeconomic policy support [that] was delivered swiftly and with appropriate force at the onset”.

But shadow treasurer, Jim Chalmers, said the findings were “yet another credible contribution pointing out that Australia’s economic weaknesses predated the pandemic, and that the recovery is hostage to the government’s failures on vaccines”.

“OECD projections envisage annual output growth of 4% in 2021 and 3.3% in 2022,” the OECD report said.