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Treasurer cautious about recession forecast

Treasurer cautious about recession forecast article image

Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan will not say whether Australia can expect to avoid recession for the remainder of the year, after yesterday's surprise announcement that the economy grew by 0.4 percent. "There's a technical definition [for recession], but what's important is to acknowledge is how serious the challenges are ahead, and in the figures yesterday we can see those challenges," he said. "We've seen declining values for exports, a decline in our terms of trade. All of those things will savagely cut our national income." The trade ledger showed a seven percent fall in imports and a 2.7 percent increase in exports, resulting in an improved trade ledger, contributing to the unexpected growth figures. Swan's remarks follow those of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, who yesterday indicated there were still challenges ahead. "In the worst global economic recession in three-quarters of a century we have good news for the Australian economy," said Rudd. "Although we're not out of the woods yet."

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