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Australia's Leading Index Signals Broad-Based Economic Contraction

Australia's leading index signaled a broad-based economic contraction in April, data from the Westpac showed Wednesday.

The Westpac- Melbourne Institute Leading Index fell to -5.16 percent in April from -2.34 percent in March. This was the weakest reading since the global financial crisis.

The score indicates the likely pace of economic activity relative to trend three to nine months into the future.

Bill Evans, Westpac chief economist, said the leading index growth rate is likely to recover as coronavirus restrictions are removed. However ongoing public health concerns are likely to see restrictions continue to disrupt economic activity for many months to come.

Nonetheless, the economist does not expect the economy to return to pre-Coronavirus levels of activity before 2022.

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