Economic News

Global Instability Overshadows Budget Projections

Global Instability Overshadows Budget Projections

Amid rising tensions in the Middle East and growing concerns about China’s economic slump, Australia has adjusted its international economic outlook, according to Treasurer Jim Chalmers. As the government prepares for the upcoming May budget, these modifications reflect a broader apprehension about a fraught and fragile global scenario.

In a notable revision, Australia’s forecast for China’s GDP growth in 2024 has been raised to 4.25%, up from the previous 4% projected in December. However, the forecast for 2025 has been reduced to the same figure, a decrease of 0.25 percentage points from earlier predictions. This update represents the most subdued three-year growth outlook for China since its market liberalization nearly fifty years ago.

Following recent meetings with global financial leaders and central bank heads in Washington DC, Chalmers highlighted the enhanced geopolitical risks contributing to global economic uncertainties, including persistent inflation and tepid recovery rates.

Chalmers noted that the discussions in Washington DC emphasized the complex and unstable global environment, which will significantly influence the final touches of the upcoming budget. He added that the May budget would prioritize fiscal responsibility and focus heavily on security amidst these challenging times.

The economic forecast for Japan has also been revised downward, now expecting a growth of just 0.75% in 2024, decreased from the 1% previously forecasted due to lagging consumption levels. Similarly, the UK’s growth projection for 2025 has been adjusted downward from 1.75% to 1.25%, affected by living cost pressures, stringent monetary policies, and a historic drop in exports following Brexit-related trade disputes.

The Australian Treasury is set to finalize its global economic forecasts for the United States after the upcoming GDP release on Thursday. The US economy has shown resilience despite ongoing inflation challenges.

Speaking last week in Washington, Chalmers acknowledged the difficulties in achieving a budget surplus but remained optimistic about Australia’s fiscal path. He underscored the strategic importance of alleviating cost of living stresses, budget restoration, and economic reform as critical responses to global risks.

He concluded by emphasizing the need for robust policy measures to navigate through the increasing global economic turbulence, highlighting these efforts as vital in mitigating the types of risks that are intensifying globally.