Strong economy needed to withstand storm

Paul Osborne
(Australian Associated Press)


Storm clouds over the global economy and domestic pressures show the importance of strong economic management, says Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.

Mr Frydenberg will tell the Sydney Institute on Tuesday in a major speech that strengthening the economy is not only important to provide essential services but weather future challenges.

“As the prime minister has warned, there are storm clouds hanging over the global economy,” Mr Frydenberg will say.

“Persistent trade tensions, high global debt levels and a contraction in growth in several key economies has changed the global outlook.”

He will point to the German and Japanese economies recording negative growth in the September quarter, while China has seen its growth slow to its lowest rate since 2009.

Domestically, the drought is having an impact, the housing market has softened, there are signs that credit growth has been constrained and the pick-up in wages growth remains gradual.

“It’s against this backdrop that our economic plan with its focus on growth, aspiration and budget repair, takes on even greater significance as we navigate the currents ahead,” Mr Frydenberg will say.

He says securing trade deals has been one of the most significant long-term achievements of the coalition government.

“When we came to government, Australia’s free trade agreements covered around a quarter of our total two-way trade – today it is 70 per cent and rising to 88 per cent when current negotiations are completed.”

Mr Frydenberg will also take aim at Labor’s “class warfare” approach to economic policy.

“It’s a dark shadow, not a light on the hill,” he will say.


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