Reserve Bank of Australia governor Philip Lowe (Image: AAP/Joel Carrett)

The Reserve Bank's message is: the worst is yet to come. We avoided a much worse economic catastrophe by suppressing the pandemic in most areas faster than expected, but Victoria -- and the nature of the damage inflicted on the economy already -- means we face years of joblessness, stagnation and lost growth.

In governor Philip Lowe's post-meeting statement yesterday -- which anticipates some forecasts from the bank in its quarterly statement of monetary policy this Friday -- he revealed the bank sees unemployment at about 10% at the end of the year compared with its 9.5% estimate in May, and higher than the 9.25% estimate in the federal government’s economic update on July 23.

The RBA said the jobless rate would still be around current levels -- just above 7% -- in a couple of years.