The Crest of the Commonwealth of Australia Treasury Portfolio Ministers
Picture of Wayne Swan

Wayne Swan

Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer

3 December 2007 - 27 June 2013

9 September 2010

NO.062

OECD Interim Economic Assessment

The OECD's latest Interim Economic Assessment is a reminder of the ongoing challenges that the global economy faces, and of Australia's very strong economic position after avoiding recession during the worst global economic crisis since the Great Depression.

The report notes there is 'great uncertainty' surrounding the global economic outlook with recent indicators pointing to a slowdown in the pace of recovery of the world economy.

Many of the world's big industrial countries are continuing to struggle, with near double-digit rates of unemployment and high levels of public debt. The OECD has cautioned that growth could slow in G7 economies to an annualised rate of around 1.5 per cent in the second half of 2010.

The OECD reports that it is not yet clear if the loss of momentum in the global recovery is temporary, or if it signals a greater underlying weakness in private demand as policy stimulus winds down.

While many of the big industrial economies are struggling to maintain economic momentum, Australia is in a much stronger position. Our economy is growing strongly and we have an unemployment rate that is the envy of the developed world at 5.1 per cent.

The Australian economy grew by 3.3 per cent through the year to the June quarter 2010 or by 2.3 per cent in year average terms in 2009-10 – that's a full 2 percentage points higher than the average rate of growth estimated for the OECD area as a whole in year-average terms.

Today's labour force figures further reinforce the resilience of our economy, with Australia's unemployment rate falling to 5.1 per cent – lower than the major advanced economies and around half the level seen in the US and Euro area.

The OECD report today also highlights the strength of Australia's public finances, confirming that Australia has the lowest gross government debt of any reported OECD country, while through responsible economic management we are getting the budget back to surplus three years ahead of schedule in 2012-13.

The Gillard Labor Government remains committed to strong, stable and responsible economic management that saw Australia fight off the global recession and create jobs, and has mapped out our economic agenda to further strengthen our economy so it continues to be amongst the strongest in the developed world.

9 September 2010