Cairns Regional Council

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Cairns Regional Council

COVID-19 Extended forecasts

The COVID 19 pandemic and policy responses enacted to limit its spread have generated uncertainty about the future of local economies. This uncertainty has created difficulties in planning economic development responses at a local government level. In response, .id has developed a COVID-19 Economic Forecast Tool that estimates likely quarterly economic and industry impacts out to June 2022.

This tool should be viewed in conjunction with unemployment and JobSeeker section to understand the impact of COVID-19 on the local labour force. To monitor the impact of COVID-19 on local businesses, see the Business Trends section.

This page is subject to the disclaimer and copyright notices as set out below.

Current benchmark:
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Assumptions and methodology

Version 2.1 (Model updated 7 October 2020. See revision notes below)

NIEIR has estimated the potential impacts of coronavirus on economic activity, employment and sectors at the LGA level. Model outputs above are based on information available before September 24.

The forecast model estimates the impact on final demand on each industry and then calculates the multiplier effects using NIEIR’s regional database. Assumptions are made about the household, business and government supression rates directly flowing from the measures introduced to contain the virus. The impact of economic measures is also incorporated into the modelling. A contingency factor is also assumed to account for downside risks (e.g. productivity impacts from working at home).

For more details, see Methodological Paper: Modelling the impact of COVID-19 at the Australian Local Government Area (LGA) level


Notes on LGA projections – September 2020

This note applies to the updated LGA projections issued in September 2020. The initial June quarter 2020 projection prepared in early April 2020 included a 12 per cent decline in national GDP. This has now been revised upward to -7.5%. The main reason for the difference was:

  1. earlier easing of restrictions over June than what was assumed; and
  2. a higher increase in household savings because of an assumed 50 per cent fall in other discretionary household expenditures.

That is, it was assumed that settings close to Stage Four restrictions would apply to the general retail sector even if not made mandatory because high infection levels will produce the same result. It would appear that Australia’s success in controlling initial infection rates saved between 3 and 5 per cent of GDP. This is consistent with international evidence. More information on the update can be found here.


This report has been prepared for Cairns Regional Council. .id has taken all due care in the preparation of this report. Content in this Report is based on Data from the National Institute of Economic and Industry Research (NIEIR) and the Data remains the property of the NIEIR. While NIEIR endeavours to provide reliable forecasts and believes the material is accurate it will not be liable for any claim by any party acting on such information. .id accepts no liability with respect to the correctness, accuracy, currency, completeness, relevance or otherwise of this Data. Please view our Privacy Policy, Terms of use and Legal notices.

Copyright Notice

This Report and all material contained within it is subject to Australian copyright law. Copyright in all such material [excluding ABS Data & other data or information where ownership by a third party is evident] is owned by .ID Consulting Pty Ltd ACN 084 054 473. Other than in accordance with the Copyright Act 1968 or as specifically agreed between .id and the Client, no material from this Report may, in any form or by any means, be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted, without prior written permission from .id. Any enquiries regarding the use of this Report should be directed to or 03 9417 2205.

Cairns Regional Council

economic profile