Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Banana-led recovery for Australia

Australia has recorded its lowest annual inflation rate for two years, with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rising by only 0.1 per cent in the March quarter, leaving the annual increase in the cost of living at 2.4 per cent.

Falling most in the latest three months has been the cost of food, led by a 73 per cent plunge in banana prices.

Who’d have thought that the recovery of the banana industry should help save Australia from an inexorable slide into Banana Republicdom??

Viewer’s of last night’s Lateline program on ABC-TV will have witnessed presenter Tony Jones badgering Labor’s shadow treasurer Wayne Swan to admit that this result is due to the sound economic management of the Howard Government (in vain, as it turns out).

This blog notes, however, that all the commentary so far has failed to acknowledge the role of the Reserve Bank of Australia, whose tweaking of interest rates at several crucial stages in the current cycle may well have contributed significantly to this splendid result.

Oh, that together with the hard work and fiscal discipline of the Australian people generally.

Good work, Australia!!!

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Blogger Caz said...

I can partly understand the denial about letting the Libs have credit for the economy, on the basis that they have enjoyed globally buoyant times for their entire reign, which is not a bad little circumstance to enjoy.

They also inherited the Keating economic reforms, that is, REFORMS; not the dicking-around over nothing that the Libs laughably call economic (or even IR) "reforms".

On the other hand, even in the best of times governments can totally screw it up, so on that basis, they deserve some not insignificant credit.

27/4/07 8:12 PM  
Blogger Caz said...

Was my praise feint enough?

After thought: a rich country is a happy electorate.

I guess we'll see if less immediate things really are more important now, eg, environment. Will Australian's have the guts to put their money where their mouth is, this time around? I'm not as convinced as I once was. It's going to be a long year - politically.

27/4/07 8:16 PM  
Blogger Jacob A. Stam said...

Yes indeed, credit where due for not completely fucking up a golden age resources boom. You'd have to be the Labor Party to do that.

I don't know, Australia's a rich country, sure, but the distribution of the spoils is rather tendentious and fraught. I get the sense that folks won't be all that willing to gamble on whether they particularly will be the ones to foot the lion's share of the bill.

Yes, a long year... and certainly an interesting one!

27/4/07 10:14 PM  

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