First up on the economic corner is the Australian GDP numbers. Australia's economy extended its rapid recovery in the first quarter. Consumers and businesses spent with abandon, lifting output back above where it was last year when pandemic lockdowns tipped the country into recession. Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) showed that the economy expanded by a real 1.8 per cent in the three months to March. Economists in a Reuters poll had forecast a 1.5 per cent rise following an upwardly revised 3.2 per cent gain in the fourth quarter.
The solid back-to-back quarterly growth helped annual output climb 1.1 per cent to $408.05 billion, a major turnaround from last year's recession low of $468.3 billion. However, Australia's employment is higher than before the pandemic while measures of underemployment and unemployment have slipped rapidly though they are still above levels the country's central bank believes is needed to spark wage pressures.
Lets look at the next big news. Brazil’s gross domestic product expanded faster than expected in the first quarter, bringing Latin America’s largest economy back to where it was before the pandemic struck at the end of 2019. Official data released on Tuesday showed that the economy grew 1.2 per cent from the previous quarter, when it expanded 3.2 per cent. Compared with the same quarter last year, the economy grew 1 per cent. Meanwhile, New Mexico has announced a $5m grand prize as part of its vaccine sweepstakes programme.
The draws, which begin in mid-June, are open to New Mexican residents who have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine in the state. While the scheme is aimed at encouraging more people to sign up for a jab, residents who have already been vaccinated are also allowed to enter.