Take Outs From a Disaster


The latest Viewpoint report from the Commonwealth Bank looks into the impact of the Victorian bushfires and the Queensland floods.

We’re a bit down the track and local economies are starting to recover, but bank data clearly showed drops in income immediately after the events.

There was also evidence of outward migration as people left the area to look for work. For example, the bank saw 41 percent of people aged 18-34 changing their address between Jan 09 and Feb 11. You wonder whether the impact could be long term for some communities if this labour force never returns.

But the research shows that it wasn’t just local people impacted by the events. Almost half of the population say the disasters have had an impact on their own personal finances. Perhaps they’re talking about the new Flood Levy, but at $250 over a year for someone earning $100k, it’s hardly going to compromise your lifestyle!

The report also includes a survey of 2,000 consumers to gauge sentiment towards the economy. Like many indicators of late, there is a slide in the proportion of people who believe the economy is strong. Forty-four percent also say they are worse off than they were six months ago.

In this edition of BTalk I discuss the findings with Michael Blythe, Chief Economist of the Commonwealth Bank.

Listen on CBS News

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