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The 4Q: The Latest from Australia

FourFourSecond Australia’s economy grew at a healthy annual rate of 7.3% in the year to September, with the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) predicting it will be stronger than the 7.0% of 2015. 

The Bureau also predicted that the Federal Government would deliver a budget surplus of $1.3 billion by the end of the financial year, with a net debt of $5.6 billion. 

Despite this, the economy continues to be weak compared to the United States, which has posted a 4Q growth rate of 9.5% for the past three years.

The Australian Bureau of Economic Research has forecast that GDP will grow by 2.9% this financial year and by 2% next year.

In the US, the Federal Reserve has announced a stimulus program for the US economy, with an expected stimulus of $4.6 trillion in 2017, with $2.1 trillion in 2018 and $2 trillion in 2019.

Australia has been criticised for not spending enough on infrastructure, which is often the biggest factor in economic growth. 

A report by the Australian Chamber of Commerce said that spending on infrastructure could be a major contributor to Australia’s economic weakness, with almost one-third of Australia’s GDP coming from infrastructure.

This year, the Commonwealth has agreed to spend $9 billion on infrastructure in 2017-18.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has also said that Australia’s infrastructure deficit will be $1 trillion by the year 2020-21.

However, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) has said that in order to reduce the country’s debt load, the government will need to cut back on spending.

As part of the new government, the Prime Minister has also pledged to spend more on infrastructure. ABC/AAP