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Unrestricted overseas travel years away for Australians: Deloitte

A new report has warned that international travel for Australians is likely to remain restrictive until 2024.

Deloitte Access Economics' quarterly business outlook - printed prior to the Morrison government's vaccination program being thrown into disarray late last week - expects international borders will re-open gradually.

For Australia, Deloitte economist Chris Richardson anticipates there will be some sort of quarantine remaining for incoming travellers for some time, saying:

"That keeps international travel, inbound and outbound, pretty weak in 2022, and it may not return to pre-pandemic levels until 2024."

Mr Richardson highlighted that governments were spending and central banks were maintaining low interest rates as national vaccination programs proceeded. However, late last week health authorities recommended the AstraZeneca vaccine should only be given to people over 50, due to the risk of users developing blood clots.

It was the vaccine the Australian government was relying heavily on, but it has since secured an additional 20 million Pfizer vaccine doses that will be shipped from abroad later in the year.

Nonetheless, Mr Richardson said Australia's economy appears to be "roaring back", sharing the Reserve Bank's expectation that a lift in interest rates is still some years away.

Shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers said the expected economic rebound is welcome, telling AAP:

"But Australians' jobs and livelihoods are being threatened by Scott Morrison's bungled vaccine rollout, premature cuts to JobKeeper, and attacks on wages and incomes.”

Mr Richardson told AAP:

“It will take time for the jobs market to tighten and the unemployment to fall enough to lift wage pressures.

"This is going to be a slow-moving train, not a fast one"

One immediate hurdle for the labour market will be last month's demise of JobKeeper.

Mr Richardson anticipates there will be many stories of individual business closures and job losses as a result of the wage subsidy ending.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics will release labour force figures for March on Thursday, which will capture the final days of the JobKeeper program.

-- with AAP


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