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)

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NPC [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.

  • Listen to Rudd’s speech (29m)

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  • Listen to Rudd take questions (33m)

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  • Watch Rudd’s speech (29m)
  • Watch Rudd’s graphs:

Official transcript of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s Address to the National Press Club.

The Australian Economy in Transition: Building a new National Competitiveness Agenda

I am, without apology, an optimist about our nation’s future.

Our national strengths are formidable.

Our weaknesses, compared with the rest of the world, are few. [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.”

Swan

The Treasurer, Wayne Swan, said the economy had strong growth, low unemployment and contained inflation. He said there was no comparison between today’s low interest rates and the emergency rates that prevailed during the global financial crisis.

Hockey

The Shadow Treasurer, Joe Hockey, said the Reserve Bank was showing leadership and doing the “heavy lifting” for the government by responding to a deteriorating economy. He said rates were now beyond emergency levels.

  • Listen to Wayne Swan’s remarks (11m) – transcript below

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  • Listen to Joe Hockey’s remarks (6m)

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  • Listen to remarks by Peter Anderson, Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (4m)

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  • Interest Rates Since 1990

Text of statement from Reserve Bank Governor Glenn Stevens.

At its meeting today, the Board decided to lower the cash rate by 25 basis points to 2.75 per cent, effective 8 May 2013.

The global economy is likely to record growth a little below trend this year, before picking up next year. Among the major regions, the United States continues on a path of moderate expansion and China’s growth is running at a more sustainable, but still robust, pace. Japan has announced significant new policy initiatives aimed at strengthening demand and ending deflation. The euro area remains in recession. Commodity prices have moderated a little in recent months though they remain high by historical standards.

Financial conditions internationally continue to be very accommodative, with risk spreads reduced, funding conditions for most financial institutions improved and borrowing costs for well-rated corporates and sovereigns exceptionally low. [Read more...]