Reserve Bank Philip Lowe
Reserve Bank Governor Philip Lowe (Image: AAP/Dan Himbrechts)

While media outlets like the Financial Review used Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe's economic update yesterday to justify their calls for full-blown neoliberalism, the real message of the governor's speech -- delivered online, as everything now is -- was about the disturbing lack of certainty about what we're doing now and its likely impacts.

The bank's guess that is the economy will contract about 6% this year and grow by 6-7% next year, and unemployment will hit 10% and hours worked will fall by 20% before things start improving.

But: "whatever the timing of the recovery, when it does come, we should not be expecting that we will return quickly to business as usual. Rather, the twin health and economic emergencies that we are experiencing now will cast a shadow over our economy for some time to come,” Lowe warned.