Money Govt encouraged by data despite IMF view

04:15  13 october  2017
04:15  13 october  2017 Source:   MSN

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Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison believes recent economic figures have been very encouraging but he won't say whether the International Monetary Fund is being too pessimistic in its latest growth forecast for Australia.

Treasurer Scott Morrison has been encouraged by the recent spate of economic data despite the IMF downgradi "But on current data that data has been very encouraging ," he told ABC television from Washington where he is attending G20 and IMF meetings.

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Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison believes recent economic figures have been very encouraging but he won't say whether the International Monetary Fund is being too pessimistic in its latest growth forecast for Australia.

While the IMF upgraded its global growth forecasts again earlier this week, bad weather events have meant Australia has failed to live up to its earlier expectations.

It now expects growth in Australia to slow to 2.2 per cent in 2017 compared to 2.5 per cent in 2016 - a downgrade from its previous prediction of 3.1 per cent.

Mr Morrison said Treasury's forecasts will be updated as necessary in the mid-year budget review as per normal

"But on current data ... that data has been very encouraging," he told ABC television from Washington where he is attending G20 and IMF meetings.

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Surveys this week showed "rock solid" business confidence and conditions.

Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison © AAP Image Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison

There had also been the best consumer confidence figures in about 11 months, with more optimists outnumbering pessimists, coming on top of the 325,000 Australians who got a job in the past year.

"So, the better days ahead I spoke about in the budget is being borne out by this evidence and data," Mr Morrison said.

New figures on Thursday also showed the proportion of home loans taken out by first-time buyers in August was the highest in four years at 17.3 per cent.

Commonwealth Bank senior economist Michael Workman said the stronger result reflected stamp duty reductions for first-home buyers in NSW and Victoria, which began on July 1.

However, he said the proportion of loans was still below the 20-year average of 20 per cent.

There were 10,277 mortgages granted to first home buyers, the largest number in a month since December 2011.

The housing finance data for August also showed a solid 4.3 per cent jump in the home loans taken out by investors.

This was the largest increase since the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority introduced regulations to curb such investor demand, which was blamed for driving up house prices and effectively locking out people trying to get in the market.

However, ANZ economist Daniel Gradwell said the increase in August only just offsets the large fall in the previous month, and investor borrowing is still lower than it was earlier this year.

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