Police have charged three Queensland women for lying about a shopping and partying trip to Melbourne. Follow our live updates here.

Police have charged three Queensland women for lying about a shopping and partying trip to Melbourne. Follow our live updates here.

US economic output fell at a stunning 32.9 per cent annual rate in the second quarter – a level not seen since the Great Depression, according to data released Thursday.
The history-making contraction in the nation’s gross domestic product, which followed a 5 per cent drop in the first quarter, was widely expected after the coronavirus outbreak shut down large swaths of the economy and led to massive job losses in the spring.
By comparison, during the worst of the Great Recession, GDP, the total of all goods and services produced in the country, shrank at an 8.4 per cent pace in the final quarter of 2008. The single largest quarterly decline since the Commerce Department’s records began in 1947 was 10 per cent in early 1958.
What makes the GDP report all the more unsettling is that it includes data from May and June when many businesses across the country moved to reopen, encouraged by President Donald Trump and several Republican governors.
Donald Trump pushed states to lift lockdowns and reopen the economy. EPA
While that initially spurred hiring and sales, the rapid rebound proved to be short-lived as the pandemic soared to new heights and forced many businesses to retreat and local governments to impose new restrictions. Conditions today look worse than in late spring, with measures of consumer spending, small-business activity and job openings all down in July.
A separate report Thursday from the Labour Department showed new unemployment claims rose last week to 1.43 million. It was the second straight week of increase – following about three months of steady declines – and brought the total number of people who have applied for jobless benefits since mid-March to more than 54 million.
“While things have improved a great deal to get us to where we are right now, they don’t seem to be improving anymore now,” said Ben Herzon, senior economist at IHS Markit.
The forecasting firm is predicting the third quarter to grow at a 20 per cent annual rate. But as much as that may represent a substantial rebound, he and other analysts said that’s not what many people on the ground will be feeling. The unemployment rate was 11.1 per cent in June and is likely to remain in double digits through the fall.
“We fell down a huge hole in March and April, and we were only able to climb part way out,” said Ethan Harris, head of global economics research at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. “The challenge is that we’re now entering a period where you’re kind of stuck at the half-way point with the economy starting to level off again.”

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