QLD revises growth forecasts but remains positive

By Staff Writer 

The Queensland government has delivered its mini-budget revealing a revised $54 million surplus from $809 million in June’s State Budget and reduced economic growth forecasts of three per cent.

Announcing the Major Economic Statement, Queensland Treasurer Mr Andrew Fraser said: “The global financial crisis has claimed many casualties, but the growth of the Queensland economy will not be one of them. We will ward off recession.”

Despite the revised forecasts, growth in the state is expected to remain above national levels, due to Queensland’s growing population and the positive impact of a lower Australian dollar on export returns, according to the Statement.

Mr Fraser said the global financial crisis and an earlier decision to put the budget into deficit to preserve the State’s capital program will not stop Queensland’s growth.

“Preserving growth and preserving jobs is our focus – that’s why we have taken the strong decision to sacrifice the surplus for the sake of preserving our capital program.

“The global financial crisis means growth will slow – that’s for sure, but we still expect to record three per cent growth for the year. That’s out in front of the Australian forecast of two per cent.”

Compared with Queensland’s growth forecast of three per cent, New South Wales is forecasting growth of just 1.25 per cent, while Victoria has predicted their economic growth will halve from 3% to just 1.5 pr cent.

The Queensland Government earlier announced that deficits will be recorded in 2009-10 ($124 million) and 2010-11 ($85 million), before the state returns to surplus in 2011-12 ($92 million).

The Treasurer also pledged to maintain the state’s $17 billion capital works program as the Government seeks to ward off a predicted rise in unemployment.

Australia’s unemployment rate is now predicted to reach 5 per cent by June quarter 2009.

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