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ADMIN 2019. 01. 22.  
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   제목: Australia Plots Early Return to Surplus by Defying Global Forces


Australia Plots Early Return to Surplus by Defying Global Forces

By Michael Heath

May 8,2018


Budget forecasts first surplus since global financial crisis


Low and middle-income earners targeted in seven-year tax plan




Australia뭩 government will balance its books earlier than expected thanks to a revenue windfall ahead of a looming general election.



In its annual budget released in Canberra Tuesday, the government burnished its economic credentials by forecasting a A$2.2 billion ($1.6 billion) surplus in fiscal 2020 -- the first since the global financial crisis. The reward for voters: modest tax cuts for low and middle-income earners and some financial perks for baby boomers heading for retirement.



Australia Budget 2018: Winners and Losers






밫his budget is providing tax relief to encourage and reward hard-working Australians, Treasurer Scott Morrison said Tuesday. 밫hrough disciplined fiscal management and improved receipts from stronger economic growth, the budget position is improving.



In its path to surplus, the government has positioned Australia뭩 economy as something of an outlier among its developed-world peers. The budget projects that wages growth will accelerate even while spare capacity remains in the jobs market. But that contrasts with the recent U.S. example of unemployment falling well below assumed full employment and pay packets still seeing slow gains.




Key Budget Numbers:

Budget deficit forecast at A$14.5b in 2018-19, compared with economists expectations of A$15b

After returning to surplus, balance predicted to widen to A$11b in 2020-21 and to A$16.6b in 2021-22

Net debt to peak at 18.6% of GDP in 2017-18 before declining to 18.4% the following year and 14.7% by 2022


Returning to the black a year earlier than expected is a political boon for Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, ahead of a ballot that has to be called within a year. Australian voters generally judge a government뭩 economic performance by whether it manages to deliver a budget surplus. Furthermore, net debt is forecast to peak in the current fiscal year, also earlier than expected.




The headline numbers don뭪 show the full story. Morrison, in his speech to parliament, lauded the retention of the nation뭩 AAA credit rating from the three main agencies. But of the 10 holders of such a distinction, Australia is in the weakest fiscal position. While the economy is entering its 27th year without a recession, that뭩 also an indictment on governments from both sides for running a decade of deficits.

Australia뭩 budget is currently benefiting from unexpected commodity price strength, due to synchronized global growth that뭩 boosted corporate profits and tax receipts; and a hiring bonanza last year that lifted the personal tax take and reduced welfare costs.

Selected articles from Bloomberg
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