Posted December 14, 2015 10:08:26

A top price range watcher forecasts that tomorrow’s mid-year fiscal update will be the new Treasurer’s possibility to ‘take out the trash’ of his predecessor.

The Federal Government’s Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) is shaping up as an chance for Treasurer Scott Morrison to dump some of his predecessor Joe Hockey’s failed savings measures.

“What I count on the Treasurer to do in MYEFO is primarily to take out the trash,” predicted Stephen Anthony, chief economist at Market Super Australia and a former Treasury official.

“To discard some of the controversial saving possibilities that have been blocked in the Senate to do with higher education and loved ones and other budget savings, and to appear to reboot the savings process about regions that are far more measured, more balanced and you know sharing the load of adjustments across the neighborhood.”

Mr Anthony said this MYEFO is most likely to be as considerably a political document as a monetary one.

“The complete thought is to do this now to primarily set the reset button to support rebuild political capital, specifically with the cross benchers, and to establish a sort of a reasonable framework about which important tax reform can be element,” he stated.

“At the moment there are just also many negative memories that are blocking a far more constructive policy agenda.”

Commodity price tag slump poses problems

Mr Anthony stated Mr Morrison also faces the challenge of further steep falls in essential commodity rates, notably iron ore.

Such price tag falls lower Australia’s terms of trade – that is the cost the nation receives for its exports compared to what it pays for imports – and consequently national earnings.

He said that this will inevitably mean a deterioration in the budget bottom line from May’s forecasts, exactly where a $ 35.1 billion deficit was predicted this economic year, progressively declining to $ 6.9 billion in 2018-19.

“Clearly our terms of trade have gone down somewhat compared to exactly where they had been at price range, despite the fact that the dollar has fallen also and that certainly soaks up some of that adjustment,” Mr Anthony observed.

“Seeking forward you would be tough pressed to forecast a price range that didn’t have terms of trade falls continuing, and that wasn’t included in the final budget so the Treasurer has to contain these falls.

“As nicely as that, the real economy is most likely increasing much less swiftly than we thought it would, and that is assuming that we never have a downturn presumably created in China.”

Audio: Treasurer to use MYEFO to take out spending budget trash (AM)

By the finish of final week, the iron ore cost was down to $ US37 a tonne and that is substantially below the $ US48 that Treasury utilised as its May possibly price range baseline figure.

Back in Could, Treasury forecast that a fall in iron ore rates from $ US48 to $ US38 a tonne would wipe nearly $ 10 billion off national income and $ two.1 billion from tax revenue.

That was at an Australian dollar forecast of 77 US cents, and the reduced local currency (just beneath 72 US cents at present) should support offset some of the damage.

Mr Anthony is expecting to see a additional downward revision in iron ore price forecasts so that the Government does not have to additional increase its deficit predictions in an election year if the commodity rout continues into 2016.

“You would count on that Scott Morrison will do his best to incorporate an iron ore price that is somewhat decrease than even that,” he added.

“The concept getting that he ought to try to generate price range forecasting, but truly undershoot so that subsequent year he’s not consistently put in this position where there is negative price range news since of unfavourable parameter variations, especially in the lead up to the next election.”

Subjects: budget, federal-government, financial-trends, australia

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