Bowen And Hockey Debate The Economy At National Press Club

Treasurer Chris Bowen and Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey have debated the economy at the National Press Club today.

With just ten days until the September 7 election, Bowen and Hockey traversed much-travelled ground on the budget deficit, the national debt and the Opposition’s policy costings.

  • Listen to the Bowen-Hockey debate (59m)

[Read more…]


Bowen And Hockey Spar Over Interest Rate Decision

The Treasurer, Chris Bowen, has defended today’s interest rate decision by the Reserve Bank, whilst the shadow Treasurer, Joe Hockey, says the economy is weakening.

At a press conference following the Bank’s decision to cut the cash rate by 25 basis points to 2.5%, Bowen said lower interest rates contributed to lower living costs for Australians, particularly in housing. [Read more…]


Government Releases Updated Economic Outlook; Deficit Up, Growth Slows, $17bn Of Budget Cuts

The Rudd government has released an updated economic outlook statement that shows this year’s budget deficit blowing out to $30.1 billion.

Treasurer Chris Bowen and Finance Minister Senator Penny Wong have announced $17 billion of budget cuts aimed at producing a surplus of $4 billion in 2016-17. [Read more…]


Kevin Rudd’s National Press Club Address: The Australian Economy In Transition

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd addressed the National Press Club in Canberra today.

Rudd’s speech centred on depicting the Australian economy as strong and its difficulties as small by comparison with the rest of the world.

He reiterated his previous statements that the China boom is over and emphasised the economy’s transition to a new investment phase. He argued that ongoing productivity improvement is vital and attacked the negativity of Opposition Leader Tony Abbott. [Read more…]


Reserve Bank Lowers Rates To 2.75%

The Reserve Bank of Australia has cut its cash rate 0.25% to 2.75%, the lowest rate since the 1950s.

In a statement, Governor Glenn Stevens said the RBA’s board “judged that a further decline in the cash rate was appropriate to encourage sustainable growth in the economy, consistent with achieving the inflation target.” [Read more…]


Reserve Bank Leaves Interest Rate Unchanged At 3%

The Reserve Bank has left the official cash rate unchanged at 3.0%.

The decision was taken at the bank’s Board meeting today. Rates were last reduced in December 2012. During 2012, rates fell by 1.25%. This followed a reduction of 0.5% in 2011.

In a statement, the Reserve Bank Governor, Glenn Stevens, said: “There are a number of indications that the substantial easing of monetary policy during late 2011 and 2012 is having an expansionary effect on the economy. Further such effects can be expected to emerge over time.”

Stevens said economic growth was “close to trend over 2012, led by very large increases in capital spending in the resources sector”. The peak in resource investment is “drawing close”, he said.

Inflation is consistent with the medium-term target of 2%.

The ALP was quick to release this graphic:

ALP

Statement from Glenn Stevens, Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia.

At its meeting today, the Board decided to leave the cash rate unchanged at 3.0 per cent.

Global growth is forecast to be a little below average for a time, but the downside risks appear to be reduced. While Europe remains in recession, the United States is experiencing a moderate expansion and growth in China has stabilised at a fairly robust pace. Around Asia generally, growth was dampened by the earlier slowing in China and the weakness in Europe, but again there are signs of stabilisation. Commodity prices have declined somewhat recently, but are still at historically high levels.

Internationally, financial conditions are very accommodative. Risk spreads are narrow and funding conditions for financial institutions have improved. Long-term interest rates faced by highly rated sovereigns, including Australia, remain at exceptionally low levels. Borrowing conditions for large corporations are similarly very attractive. Share prices are substantially above their low points. However, the task of putting private and public finances on sustainable paths in several major countries is far from complete. Accordingly, financial markets remain vulnerable to setbacks. [Read more…]


Reserve Bank Leaves Interest Rates Unchanged

At its monthly meeting today, the Reserve Bank of Australia has left the cash rate unaltered.

The cash rate has been 3.0 per cent since the Reserve’s December board meeting.

Statement from Glenn Stevens, Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia.

At its meeting today, the Board decided to leave the cash rate unchanged at 3.0 per cent.

Global growth is forecast to be a little below average for a time, but the downside risks appear to have lessened over recent months. The United States is experiencing a moderate expansion and financial strains in Europe are considerably reduced compared with the situation through much of last year. Growth in China has stabilised at a fairly robust pace. Around Asia generally, growth was dampened by the earlier slowing in China and the weakness in Europe, but again there are signs of stabilisation. Commodity prices are little changed recently, at reasonably high levels.

Sentiment in financial markets is much improved compared with the middle of last year. Risk spreads have narrowed and funding conditions for financial institutions are more favourable. Long-term interest rates faced by highly rated sovereigns, including Australia, remain at exceptionally low levels. Borrowing conditions for large corporations are very attractive. Share prices have risen substantially from their low points. However, the task of putting private and public finances on sustainable paths in several major countries is far from complete. Accordingly, as seen most recently in Europe, financial markets remain vulnerable to occasional setbacks. [Read more…]