Twitter Updates

  • March quarter economic growth figure in Australia: +0.4% AUSTRALIA STAVES OFF RECESSION #
  • Australia and South Korea the only countries to record positive economic growth in the first quarter of 2009. #
  • Politically, the 0.4% growth figure is highly significant to the Rudd government and poses a difficulty for the Opposition. #
  • Household consumption figures are up in the March quarter, suggesting stimulus package around Christmas has propped up demand. #
  • The Australian dollar has risen to around 80-82 cents following release of the 0.4% growth figure for the March quarter. #
  • The December quarter growth figure has been revised downwards from -0.5% to -0.6%. #
  • Expect much talk of a “technical recession” in the coming hours. A recession is defined as 2 consecutive quarters of economic contraction. #
  • Political effect of positive growth figure: Rudd govt can claim stimulus packages are working. Opposition “cash splash” arguments blunted. #
  • Is a recession likely? Probably, but these figures give Rudd govt a vital breather. Govt still expects unemployment to grow. #
  • Economic confidence is important but hard to measure. This 0.4% growth figure has important psychological effects for economy & politics. #
  • Yesterday’s trade figures and today’s growth figure show once again that most media commentary on the economy is wrong most of the time… #
  • More broadly, the economic growth figure can be seen to be the result of 25 years of economic restructuring in Australia… #
  • …The slowdown in Australia lags far behind the rest of the world. Even if/when recession officially hits, it will likely be less severe. #
  • The Geography of Recession – http://twurl.nl/5fvrp3 – excellent piece from Stratfor on why the US is weathering the economic storm. #
  • @fridley Not sure of precise figure but China is still in positive growth (6 – 7%?) but it is about half what it was a year ago. in reply to fridley #
  • RT @channelone: Last WWI digger dies at 110 – http://tinyurl.com/qlpfrq #
  • @fridley It’s a measure of what’s happening in China – a severe slowdown but still growing faster than any other country for decades. in reply to fridley #
  • This Stratfor article – http://twurl.nl/ftol8a – gives a good explanation of relative strengths and weaknesses of world economies. @fridley #
  • RT @KevinRuddPM: I’m very concerned about the attacks on Indian students in Australia. I condemn all attacks of this sort. #
  • RT @KevinRuddPM: Here is link to my statement to the Parliament on June 1 – page 36 http://www.aph.gov.au/hansard/reps/dailys/dr010609.pdf #
  • @fridley China growth rate was 6.1% in first quarter 2009. They claim annual 8% needed to create jobs for school leavers & rural migrants. in reply to fridley #
  • PM Kevin Rudd is holding a press conference following release of the +0.4% economic growth figures… #
  • Rudd: cash payments have kept economy going whilst private sector is in retreat & as we wait for infrastructure payments to kick in. #
  • Rudd: medium term infrastructure – schools, housing – will stimulate economy. Longer-term projects in ports, railways, etc, coming. #
  • Rudd: It’s not over, unemployment will rise, negative growth may occur but we have acted early to cushion the impact. #
  • Swan: This is a very strong outcome, tribute to resilience of the nation… every advanced country is going backward except us. #
  • Swan: This is strongest economic growth of any advanced nation. We’re not out of the woods, yet to feel full impact of global recession. #
  • Swan: Jobs will continue to be lost, rocky road lies ahead but we can and are cushioning the nation from the worst effects. #
  • Swan: +0.4% growth is strongest outcome of any advanced economy. Major economies contracted by 2.2% in first quarter 2009. #
  • Swan: Household consumption increased 0.6% in quarter – cash payments cushioned Australia from worst effects of global recession. #
  • Swan: Without the December stimulus the economy would have contracted by more than 1.6% in Dec quarter and over 1% in March quarter. #
  • Swan: Rocky road ahead – new investment fell in March quarter, hence need for nationbuilding investments. #
  • Swan: 7.8% collapse in terms of trade (commodity prices), the largest in 30 years. Export earnings 3rd biggest fall ever. #
  • Swan: The stimulus is working, positioning Aust as the best performer in the world. Phase 2 of stimulus is rolling out – 35,000 projects. #
  • Swan: Negative strategy of our opponents is completely shredded. #
  • Rudd: We have avoided a technical recession but unemployment will go up and we are not out of the woods yet. But we have a strategy. #
  • Swan: Very significant stimulus still to come in infrastructure investment. The cash payments filled an important gap to hold up demand. #
  • Rudd: The stimulus packages have been introduced in stages: “go hard, go early, go households” was phase 1. #
  • Rudd: Phase 2 was announced in February: medium-term infrastructure on things like schools and Defence housing. Effect will show next fin.yr #
  • Rudd: Phase 3 is long-term infrastructure in ports, railways, etc. #
  • That idiot from Sky News just asked Rudd if we was wrong to predict a recession last year… Rudd says no apologies for conservative outlook #
  • .. “he” not “we”….! #
  • Rudd: This IS the worst synchronised economic downturn in three-quarters of a century. Aust is only advanced economy not yet in recession. #
  • Rudd: Aust has lowest net debt in world, Triple A rating confirmed – Opposition’s reckless strategy is to talk economy down. #
  • Swan: We had $210billion collapse in revenues – the only course was to stimulate economy as we have done and to borrow to do so. #
  • @mr_billiam The two of them can hardly stop grinning… in reply to mr_billiam #
  • Swan: I can go to bed and sleep now knowing we have made a very significant difference…. #
  • Rudd: We are turbo-charging productivity with initiatives such as Broadband, skills and training, infrastructure, etc. #
  • Swan: Recession is rolling through Europe and especially Asia – business investment is down 6%, terms of trade are down… #
  • Swan: We will see national income fall – private sector investment needs assistance through road, rail and port investment by government. #
  • Rudd: Great threat to global economy is an outbreak of protectionism. This was a serious failure during the Depression. #
  • Rudd: I’m not happy about Joel Fitzgibbon’s pecuniary interests error but he has apologised for it. Very terse response. #
  • RT @BusinessChannel: Australia avoids technical recession.. grew modestly in the March quarter.. – http://tinyurl.com/pwk5o2 #
  • Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull is holding a press conference in Canberra…. #
  • Turnbull: Disappointed to see Rudd claim victory… his “Mission Accomplished” moment… #
  • Turnbull: 2.2% contribution from net exports is why we have a positive growth number in March quarter, but domestic economy remains weak… #
  • Turnbull: We have to keep this in proportion… Rudd right when he says we are not out of the woods, but he doesn’t know the way out. #
  • Turnbull: “Cash splashes” have done nothing to help the economy. Result is a tribute to the private sector & its strength built up under us. #
  • Turnbull: Domestic economy is still slowing. We have to focus on ways to creat jobs. Rudd has simply borrowed money and created debt. #
  • Turnbull: The higher the debt, the higher will be interest rates and the slower we will come out of this slump. #
  • Hockey: Our export sector deserves praise. Pleasing we have avoided technical recession. But Gross National Expenditure fell, & bus. invest. #
  • Hockey repeats claim that Rudd proclaimed “Mission Accomplished” – Rudd as Dubya? #
  • Turnbull asked if Rudd deserves any scrap of credit… Turnbull displays chart showing net exports accounts for 0.4% growth figure. #
  • Turnbull: We’ve never denied the cash splashes would have no impact… but the table tells the story that net exports caused the figure. #
  • Turnbull asked if any spending by Rudd govt is worthwhile. Says is depends on which program you’re talking about. #
  • Turnbull: Cash payments have been used to pay down debt or saved. Journalist says savings ratio is down… #
  • Grattan asks Turnbull if he believes we are in recession. Says the economy is contracting and talks about govt debt. #
  • This is an appalling performance from Turnbull… as on other occasions, he seems unable to articulate a clear and simple message. #
  • Turnbull asked whether he agrees with Swan that growth would have been negative without cash payments. Says he hasn’t seen the assumptions. #
  • Turnbull: repeats argument that net exports is the cause of the growth figure and claims govt forecasts are dubious. #
  • Turnbull quotes Haslem from UBS in support of claim that net exports contributed to growth figure. #
  • Turnbull asked if there is anything in the figures which gives him cause to rethink his approach: Repeats argument about govt. debt dangers. #
  • Turnbull: Joel Fitzgibbon is like Groundhog Day – when will he reach the conclusion everyone else has that JF is incompetent? #
  • Turnbull says Rudd needs to understand Fizgibbon is incompetent and remove him. #
  • @annabelcrabb asks Turnbull about arrangements for party meetings. Will there be bouncers? #
  • Turnbull: good to keep mobile phones out of party meetings… meetings will be shorter. #
  • Malcolm Turnbull and Joe Hockey conclude their press conference…. I have rarely seen such a weak performance. #
  • @RicRaftis @rebeccamezzino Beauty is in the eye of the beholder… and I’m looking in the mirror…. in reply to RicRaftis #
  • PM Kevin Rudd is moving a motion of condolence to Jack Ross, the last WW1 serviceman who has died at 110. – http://tinyurl.com/o6qpbg #
  • Malcolm Turnbull speaking now on Jack Ross condolence… Turnbull does this well, arguably better than Rudd, but he can’t do interviews well #
  • #questiontime Question Time in the House of Represenatives begins. Turnbul asks Rudd about previous recessions…is this the worst in 75yrs? #
  • #questiontime Rudd: Turnbull can’t bring himself to welcome positive news. Turnbull & Hockey only 2 people not happy today. #
  • #questiontime Darren Cheeseman (ALP-Corangamite) asks Rudd how Aust. managed economic growth increase? #
  • #questiontime Rudd says Treasury figures confirm Aust would now be in recession had it not been for cash payments over past 6 months. #
  • RT @Pollytics: There’s more than two unhappy people – Malcolm Turnbull, Joe Hockey AND Michael Stutchbury! #
  • #questiontime Rudd repeats his lines from the press conference earlier… Opp. talking economy down, we’re not out of the woods yet. #
  • #questiontime Rudd: These are uncertain, exceptional times with global downturn. 24/30 OECD countries in recession. #
  • #questiontime Rudd: 3 phases to our recovery program. 1st – cash payments, home buyers boost. Retail sales now higher. #
  • #questiontime Rudd accuses Libs of burying their heads in their papers, Bishop of making trivial interjections… #
  • #questiontime Rudd: 70% of our programs are in nationbuilding infrastructure. We have supported growth while priv sector has been in retreat #
  • #questiontime Rudd: Opposition cannot admit that they would have done exactly the same in government… #
  • #questiontime Pyne objects to Rudd speaking for more than 7 minutes… #
  • #questiontime Turnbull asks Rudd if the GDP figure is because of decline in imports and increase in exports. #
  • #questiontime Rudd: Turnbull is misleading because he doesn’t mention the increase in household consumption and earlier figures on retail. #
  • #questiontime Turnbull has a new line about everything being “about him”… not quite sure where this one comes from. #
  • RT @GerardHenderson: I do like the cut of young Pyne’s jib. #
  • RT @firstdogonmoon: Christopher Pyne is crisp and delicious. Like a granny smith, or a pink lady. #
  • #qt Speaker Jenkins welcomes Greg Chappell to the public gallery… perhaps he can catch one of those sixes the govt is hitting today… #
  • #qt Swan now repeating his lines from the earlier press conference. Japan contracted 4%, UK 1.9%, USA 1.5%… #
  • #qt Pyne asks Speaker Jenkins why Member for Bowman has been thrown out whilst Member for Solomon wasn’t… Jenkins obviously pissed off… #
  • #qt Swan resumes catalogue of international comparisons, Germ 3.8%, etc – major economies contracted 2.2% in March quarter whilst Aust grew. #
  • #qt Turnbull asks Rudd about net exports contribution to growth, says it’s more than 7 times any other factor. Wasn’t the cash splash wrong? #
  • #qt Rudd says Opposition would have fiddled while Rome burned. Why does Turnbull keep talking the economy down? #
  • #qt Rudd: Terms of trade will be significant challenge in future, hence govt has been investing in infrastructure… #
  • #qt Rudd: Opposition cannot agree among themselves. Quotes Turnbull & Hockey in interview this morning contradicting each other… #
  • #qt Rudd now quoting bank economists on success of front-ending cash payments to boost demand. #
  • @Ozegold Re: courage, cowardice and conformity. Lots of modern nonentities claim credit for this quote but I think it might come from Plato. #
  • #qt Okay, I’m done with Question Time for today… the pattern is clear and I have an appointment to have my hair cut… #
  • Waiting at the hairdresser – an i missing anything exciting in question time? #
  • RT @canberratimes: Australia dodges recession: Data shows the economy expanded in the first 3 months of the year – http://tinyurl.com/pm42pu #
  • Chris Richardson (Access Economics) says Australia is having a mild downturn whilst the rest of the world has a major recession. #
  • Richardson: major hit is to Aust coal exports. Effect of this still to come. #
  • The real Costello – RT @newscomau: Swan’s a moron, Rudd’s a dope – Costello – http://tinyurl.com/qhgrz4 #
  • @ttam Perhaps they don’t know where Manchester is…? in reply to ttam #
  • @RicRaftis Why, what’s happened in Wedderburn to warrant this saturation coverage? in reply to RicRaftis #
  • Watched these 2 videos of Adnan Barqawi address the Republican Party of Virginia Convention – http://twurl.nl/5is6op http://twurl.nl/mchtmb #
  • The final, final, word on Susan Boyle – http://twurl.nl/nt0b8g – some of the best lines edited out of the original article. #
  • Time for more than unhappily ever after – http://twurl.nl/hgrad4 – It’s taken me some time to warm to Catherine Deveny but she’s good… #
  • This must be a record: tomorrow’s articles in the Opinion section of The Age are already online: http://www.theage.com.au/text #
  • Haunted by details missing in the struggle for objectivity – http://twurl.nl/zxsdc0 – Peter Ellingsen on Tiananmen Square 20 years on. #
  • RT @journalismnews: Kate Adie on 20 years since Tiananmen Square – http://bit.ly/1Q9JxF #
  • @danupoyner I’m reading “The Next 100 Years”, George Friedman – runs Stratfor, the group that published that article. Book does the same. in reply to danupoyner #