Frydenberg optimistic about economy
The federal Treasurer has defended Australia’s “strong” economy despite a global slowdown in growth and the economic impact of Australia’s bushfire crisis.
At a doorstop interview in Canberra yesterday, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg flagged that unemployment had fallen to 5.2 per cent and 40,000 new jobs were created in the November quarter despite this week’s downgrading of global growth by IMF.
But, Mr Frydenberg said, “it did point to some positive signs and stabilisation in the global economy off the back of developments in relation to Brexit and the phase one trade deal between China and the United States”.
Closer to home, the Treasurer lauded the government’s response to the bushfire disaster and its “absolute first priority” on “meeting the human cost of the bushfires”.
“The benefit of having a strong economy is that you can spend on areas of need at times of economic shocks or at times of national crises, as is the bushfire situation, and we have done so with a $2 billion National Bushfire Recovery Fund without increasing taxes,” he said.
“This is a critical point,” he said, despite going on to emphasise that he would not provide a running commentary on the situation of the budget.
“So, while other countries around the world, including South Korea, the United Kingdom and Singapore, saw quarters of negative economic growth last year, the Australian economy continues to grow and continues to be remarkably resilient in the face of not just the bushfires, but the comprehensive drought that we have seen, as well as the global trade tensions,” he said.