Treasurer expresses optimism about Australia's economy

17:05, May 10, 2010      

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Australia has emerged from the global financial crisis in a good position while other economies were still "wading through the rubble" of the global recession, Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan said on Monday.

Swan said there were still risks in the international economy and the outlook was patchy.

"Those countries are wading through the rubble of a deep and prolonged recession caused by the global financial crisis," Swan told reporters in Canberra.

Swan said Australia's economic stability was supported by stimulus measures put in place during the crisis.

The European bailout has helped to soothe financial markets after recent volatility, giving a lift to both the Australian dollar and shares.

But opposition treasury spokesman Joe Hockey said it seemed that the government has hoped the global financial crisis would continue as long as possible so that it can keep spending at crisis levels.

"When this government starts using the difficulties in Greece as a justification to spend record amounts of money on stimulus then we should all be skeptical," Hockey told reporters in Canberra.

New economic data on Monday has showed that rising interest rates were beginning to impact on business and demand for workers.

The latest The Australia and New Zealand Banking Group's (ANZ's) job advertisement report has showed the total number of online jobs advertising in newspapers fell 1.2 percent in April, the first fall in three months.

Annual growth in advertising was still a healthy 14.9 percent.

"The modest decline in job advertisements in April is not surprising in the wake of two successive rate hikes from the Reserve Bank of Australia," ANZ chief economist Warren Hogan said releasing the data on Monday.

"In addition, some slowing in demand for labor is to be expected after very strong growth in the second half of 2009 and into early 2010."

The data did not take into account last week's rate increase by the Reserve Bank of Australia, the sixth since October.

The treasurer will hand down his third federal budget on Tuesday.

Swan's comments came in the wake of the International Monetary Fund approving a 42.72 billion dollars (38.67 billion U.S. dollars) loan for Greece to help the country resolve its staggering debt problems.

Germany's government has also approved bailout assistance while European Union finance ministers agreed on a 1.08 trillion dollars (0.98 trillion U.S. dollars) European Union and International Monetary Fund safety net for troubled euro-zone countries.



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