March 20, 2020 / 4:34 AM / 2 months ago

Australian PM says will not deliver federal budget until October

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks during a joint press conference held with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at Admiralty House in Sydney, Australia, February 28, 2020. REUTERS/Loren Elliott

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia will not release its federal budget until October as it was not “sensible” to put together economic forecasts during such uncertain times, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Friday.

The announcement comes as the lockdowns and the travel bans related to the coronavirus pandemic has jolted Australia’s A$2 trillion ($1.17 trillion) economy which is now on the verge of its first recession in nearly three decades.

The number of coronavirus cases across Australia surged to nearly 800 with the bulk of the patients in the country’s most populous state of New South Wales.

Reporting by Swati Pandey; Editing by Christian Schmollinger

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