police officer aims weapon at protesters
(Image: AP/Richard Tsong-Taata)

Today's March quarter GDP result -- a decline of 0.3%, seasonally adjusted -- is a historical oddity, probably the most meaningless national accounts result in decades.

The real damage of the pandemic will be reported in three months, for the June quarter, and by that stage in September -- barring another lockdown -- we'll have a much clearer sense of how the economy is recovering.

The United States has already had its first-quarter estimate -- a contraction at an annualised rate of 5% and a precursor to what will be the largest single plunge in GDP so far recorded when the current quarter is reported in coming months.