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Strong economy? No, but maybe it will be eighth time lucky

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14.04.2019

Scott Morrison wants the Coalition re-elected because of its superior management of the economy. In Josh Frydenberg’s budget speech he referred to our “strong economy” 14 times. Why? He had to keep saying it because it ain’t true.

But get this: it’s not the government’s fault. It’s happening for reasons far beyond the government’s control. Growth is weak in Australia and throughout the developed world for deep reasons economists don’t yet fully understand.

It’s taken a while to realise this because the econocrats – mainly Treasury, but with the acquiescence of the Reserve Bank - either can’t or won’t accept its truth. They’ve gone for eight budgets in a row forecasting an early return to strong growth.

And for seven years in a row they’ve been way off. But so great is their certainty that nothing fundamental has changed, they’ve fronted up with yet another forecast that this year will be different. This year we'll reach lift-off.

The longer Treasury dwells in the land of hope-springs-eternal, the more it gives its political masters the budget numbers they crave: ones showing the budget deficit soon returning to surplus.Credit:AAP

It may not be entirely coincidental that, the longer Treasury dwells in the........

© Brisbane Times