Fiscal policy needs to play bigger role

Original article by David Rogers
The Australian – Page: 27 : 12-Jul-19

HSBC Australia’s chief economist Paul Bloxham says the federal government’s tax cuts are likely to have a similar short-term economic impact as an 0.5 per cent reduction in the cash rate. Bloxham adds that there is plenty of scope for the government to stimulate the economy via fiscal policy, particularly given that there is limited capacity for monetary policy to provide further stimulus. He has also flagged the possibility of establishing an independent fiscal authority to co-ordinate fiscal and monetary policy.

CORPORATES
HSBC AUSTRALIA HOLDINGS PTY LTD, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA

Target surplus, but keep on spending

Original article by Rosie Lewis
The Australian – Page: 6 : 10-Jul-19

Australian Industry Group CEO Innes Willox says there is scope for the federal government to pursue stimulus measures in addition to its income tax cuts package. He says that although returning the Budget to surplus should remain a priority, there should also be increased government spending in areas that will generate economic growth. Treasury Josh Frydenberg is confident that the economy will be boosted by factors such as the tax cuts, monetary policy easing and the Coalition’s infrastructure spending program.

CORPORATES
THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY, AUSTRALIAN RESOURCES AND ENERGY GROUP, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

Stick to surplus to keep AAA

Original article by John Kehoe
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 4 : 9-Jul-19

S&P Global Ratings upgraded Australia’s credit rating outlook to ‘stable’ in September 2018. S&P’s Anthony Walker says the federal government must retain its target of returning the Budget to surplus in 2019-20 in order to retain its triple-A credit rating. He has stressed the need for the government to have a strong public balance sheet so it can respond with fiscal stimulus if there is an external shock to the economy in the future. Martin Petch of Moody’s Investors Service in turn says the Australian economy will be boosted by factors such as the government’s income tax cuts, official interest rate cuts and spending on infrastructure.

CORPORATES
S&P GLOBAL RATINGS, MOODY’S INVESTORS SERVICE INCORPORATED, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, HSBC AUSTRALIA HOLDINGS PTY LTD

RBA, tax cuts are more than enough boost

Original article by Matthew Cranston
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 4 : 8-Jul-19

Stephen Koukoulas of Market Economics and Andrew Charlton from Alphabeta say that further fiscal stimulus is not needed at present to boost the Australian economy. They argue that the federal government’s income tax cuts, the Reserve Bank’s latest official interest rate reduction and an easing of credit restrictions should be sufficient, and in fact may provide a greater economic boost than many observers anticipate. They add that too much fiscal stimulus could put a return to a Budget surplus at risk.

CORPORATES
MARKET ECONOMICS PTY LTD, ALPHABETA, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA

Ex-RBA deputy queries rate cut

Original article by John Kehoe
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 6 : 6-Jun-19

Stephen Grenville was the Reserve Bank of Australia’s deputy governor when it introduced inflation targeting in 1996. However, he has questioned whether the inflation target of 2-3 per cent is still necessary, as well as the central bank’s decision to reduce the cash rate to a record low of 1.25 per cent. Grenville argues that there needs to be more focus on the role of fiscal policy in stimulating the economy. Inflation has been below the RBA’s target range for several years, but governor Philip Lowe says there is no need for any changes to the monetary policy framework at present.

CORPORATES
RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, LOWY INSTITUTE FOR INTERNATIONAL POLICY, OUTLOOK ECONOMICS, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND

Budget close to surplus and a year early

Original article by John Kehoe
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 5 : 24-Apr-19

The federal government had an underlying cash deficit of $8.1bn in the first nine months of 2018-19, according to monthly Budget data from the Department of Finance. This is $4.6bn lower than had been projected in the mid-year Budget update. Peter Downes of Outlook Economics says the final quarter of a financial year tends to be good in terms of government revenue, and a balanced budget for 2018-19 is possible. The government expects the Budget to return to surplus in 2019-20.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF FINANCE, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, OUTLOOK ECONOMICS, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

Labor to have higher tax burden but bigger surpluses, says Bowen

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 4 : 10-Apr-19

Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen will use his Budget reply speech on 10 April to argue that the federal government could not deliver on its tax cuts package while retaining a surplus over the next decade. He will state that the government’s projected surpluses in coming years are based on spending cuts elsewhere in the Budget starting in the 2023-24 financial year. Bowen will also note that tax revenue would be higher under a Labor government, but it would still be low compared to other OECD nations and some previous Coalition governments.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, ORGANISATION FOR ECONOMIC CO-OPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT, KPMG AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

To surplus with love

Original article by Simon Benson
The Australian – Page: 1 & 5 : 3-Apr-19

The federal government’s April 2019 Budget has forecast a surplus of $7.1bn in 2019-20, and accumulated surpluses of $45bn over the four-year forward estimates period. The government also expects net debt to be reduced to zero by 2029-30. Highlights of the Budget include tax relief for individuals, dual-income families and small businesses, an additional $100bn worth of funding for infrastructure projects and $525m to create 80,000 apprenticeships in sectors that are experiencing skills shortages.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF FINANCE

Coalition defuses debt bomb

Original article by Simon Benson
The Australian – Page: 1 & 2 : 2-Apr-19

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has rejected suggestions that the April 2019 Budget will be a ‘cash splash’ ahead of the federal election, stressing the government’s track record for fiscal discipline. Meanwhile, the Budget papers are forecast to show that Australia’s net debt will be reduced to zero by 2028-29 under the Coalition, compared with $370bn at present. The Budget is expected to remain in deficit for 2018-19, although it is likely to be lower than the $5.2bn that was forecast in the mid-year update. The government is tipped to bring forward the second and third stages of its tax cuts package.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF FINANCE, AUSTRALIA. PARLIAMENTARY BUDGET OFFICE, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. FUTURE FUND MANAGEMENT AGENCY, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE, AUSTRALIAN SECURITY INTELLIGENCE ORGANISATION

$20bn resources boost to budget

Original article by Simon Benson
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 29-Mar-19

The federal government’s April 2019 Budget bottom line is expected to be boosted by a sharp rise in earnings from resource and energy exports. The value of such exports is forecast to have grown by about $20bn since the December quarter, due to a rise the prices of key commodities. Meanwhile, the Budget is set to include $2.2m worth of additional funding for road safety programs over the next four years, with about half of this to be allocated to regional projects. The government will also establish an Office of Road ­Safety.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF INDUSTRY, INNOVATION AND SCIENCE, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF INFRASTRUCTURE AND REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT, VICTORIA. DEPT OF PREMIER AND CABINET