Pea and thimble
When the Prime Minister and Treasurer boasted that Australia’s economy was “the envy of the world” Opposition treasury spokesman Joe Hockey seized upon the statement. G20 leaders may have wished they had a China hungry for their mineral resources. A strong Australian dollar buffered petrol prices but weakened the manufacturing and tourism sectors. Online shopping surged and GST revenues slumped.
Would the Treasurer achieve a budget surplus in the face of a global economic slowdown and financial market jitters? How would new policy initiatives be funded? Treasurer Wayne Swan turned the spotlight onto Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Glenn Stevens, who smiled, considered the nation’s mood, talked of the monetary policy, the cash rate and inflation targeting while the public waited for lower interest rates.