Tuesday, 10 September 2019
Matters of Public Importance
I have listened to the negative arguments put by those opposite. The Australian economy, whilst facing challenges and international headwinds, is in a remarkably strong position, despite Labor's pessimistic economic rhetoric. It is a difficult time for global economies, with both the IMF and OECD downgrading their global economic outlook and Germany, the United Kingdom, Sweden and Singapore, among other nations, recording negative economic growth in the June quarter.
In the face of these challenges, and the uncertainty created by the increasing trade tensions between China and the US, the Australian economy has again proven its remarkable resilience. The Morrison government is implementing its economic plan, as set out in the budget: helping the Australian economy continue to grow, creating more jobs and delivering lower taxes. The national accounts show that the Australian economy has completed its 28th consecutive year of economic growth, a record unmatched by any other developed country. In the June quarter, real GDP grew by 0.5 per cent to be 1.4 per cent higher through the year. In year-average terms, real GDP grew by 1.9 per cent in 2018-19.
Since the federal election, the Morrison government has passed the most significant tax cuts in more than 20 years, and there has been a 50 basis point reduction in interest rates. Currently, the Australian Taxation Office has issued more than 5.5 million individual tax refunds for the 2018-19 year, totalling more than $14 billion. This money is flowing through to households and will be reflected from the September quarter onwards. The combination of these tax and interest rate cuts, the stabilisation of the housing market, continued high levels of spending on infrastructure and a more positive outlook for investment in the resources sector will boost the Australian economy.
The fundamentals of the Australian economy are strong. We have maintained our AAA credit rating. Employment growth, at more than 2.6 per cent, is more than twice the OECD average and more than three times what we inherited when we came to government. A record number of Australians are in work, the participation rate has never been higher and more than 1.4 million new jobs have been created since we came to office—with around eight of every 10 new jobs being full-time over the past year. In the national accounts, net exports, new public final demand, household consumption and mining investment all contributed to real GDP growth. Household consumption, which comprises just under 60 per cent of GDP, grew by 0.4 per cent in the June quarter. Mining investment grew by 2.4 per cent in the quarter. It was the sixth time it has grown in 24 quarters since the height of the mining investment boom in 2012-13. Importantly, there was an increase in mining related investment in machinery and equipment. New public final demand, which includes spending by all levels of government, rose by 1.5 per cent in the quarter to be 5.2 per cent higher during the year. Net exports made a substantial contribution to real GDP growth of 0.6 percentage points in the June quarter. Imports fell in the quarter, while export growth was driven by mining exports, which rose by 2.4 per cent. Company profits increased by 2.4 per cent in the quarter to be 12.8 per cent higher throughout the year. The rise in company profits was driven by strong mining profits, which were 10.6 per cent higher in the quarter. Average earnings, as measured in the national accounts, grew by 0.9 of a per cent in the quarter to be 2.5 per cent higher through the year.
Importantly, living standards continue to increase, with real net national disposable income per capita rising one per cent to be 2.7 per cent higher throughout the year. As you can see, the Australian economy is in good shape and the Morrison Liberal government has a plan to take the nation forward.