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November balance of payments and retail trade

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Peter Costello D ep u ty L eader of th e O pposition S hadow T re a su re r

fMEDIAl RELEASE.... -------- ) JNOVEMBER BALANCE OF PAYMENTS AND RETAIL TRADEThe higher than expected $1.9 billion current account deficit for the month of November is a bad start to the new year for all Australians.Imports rose by 4% in November, while exports fell for the founh month in succession, by 3%.The result shows the Government’s failure to produce any structural improvement in the current account deficit, and confirms the worrying assessment of the OECD’s latest forecast: Australia will remain the worst performer amongst developed nations on the current account deficit in 1996.13 years of political and economic failure leading to poor results like today’s have put Australia on the bottom rung of the OECD - worse than all other countries including Mexico.The likely upgrading of New Zealand by Moody’s Rating Agency would see Australia slip behind that country on credit worthiness in the near future.The price Australians pay for 13 years of Labor failure on savings, the current account, and foreign debt, is higher than necessary interest rates, higher foreign investment and declining financial sovereignty.The rise in retail trade of 1.2% in November was well above market expectations of around 0.2%.Whilst growth in retail spending is welcome, this indicates that the Government’s persistent predictions of an imminent full in interest rates is nothing more than political bluster.End Release: 5 January 1996Contact: Anthony Smith (03) 822 4422or AH (018) 324 009i|tιβΡ>.·V · . . . . . . . . . . . . . · : - V i P ^ P arliam en t H ouse, C a n b erra , A.C.T. 2 6 0 0:W: '·· ■ ■ > .. ΐ