16 Jul '11, 8am

Australia economy strong despite jitters: treasurer Swan

Australia economy strong despite jitters: treasurer Swan

SYDNEY: Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan insisted the country's economy was strong Saturday following a slump in consumer confidence and retail spending which left some analysts predicting an interest rate cut. Strong Asia-driven demand for its mining exports helped Australia emerge from the global downturn as the only advanced economy to dodge recession but high interest rates and offshore debt worries are rattling the public. Consumer confidence slumped 8.3 per cent this month to recession levels and retail stocks dived Thursday after top-end department store David Jones slashed its profit forecasts due to an unprecedented and dramatic slowdown in sales. Australia's economy suffered its worst contraction in 20 years in the first three months of 2011 after flood and cyclone emergencies damaged mines and crops, with growth shrinking 1.2 per cent on-quarter. A second quarter...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific_bu...

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