Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe (Image: AAP/Lukas Coch)

How quickly economic fortunes can change in a pandemic world. It's not that long since a lockdown-free Australia could look forward to a rapid recovery and -- according to many economists -- a return to a more normal monetary policy much sooner than 2024. Some even spoke of rate hikes late next year.

Now the talk is of recession -- maybe not, as now looks possible, in the September and December quarters, but in the June and September quarters.

And if that doesn't discourage talk of early rate hikes, Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe's comments to the House of Representatives' economic committee on Friday, and the bank's August statement of monetary policy (SMP) released that morning, should.