A just issued update publication by ABARE on Australian Commodities (June 2009), in the section summarizing projected 2009-2010 economic activity, ABARE provides a -0.5% estimate for economic decline.
Hold on - didn't Australia a mere 3 weeks ago declare boldly that it had dodged a recession, and not only that, but raised its economic forecast by 50 bps from 0.3% to 0.8%?
Excluding the farm sector, the economy grew by 0.5 per cent in the first quarter. On a year-to-year basis, the overall growth rate was 0.4 per cent. The December quarter year-on-year growth rate was revised up, to 0.8 per cent, from 0.3 per cent.
The economy is yet to gain the full benefit of Federal Government spending, totaling about $52 billion before last month's budget.
It must be nice when a $52 billion stimulus is sufficient to boost your economy by half a percent: our very own Tim Geithner burns that much in cooking his scrambled eggs each morning.
Yet one would assume that the fans of Aussie rules football can coordinate two sets of numbers as the difference between 0.8% and -0.5% is, well, quite substantial (1.3% to be precise).
Then again, maybe the OZs need to print several hundred billion in bonds like their Yankee cousins, and are happy to distribute some anti green shoot last minute propaganda themselves (one can easily issue a retraction in a week or so, saying "we were only kidding") to cause a little equity market panic just in time to redirect cash into bond "safe havens." Or, maybe that is just a cynical observation: after all, that is a strategy trademarked and copyrighted by former DE Shaw employees and current administration shadow overlords. The simplest explanation is probably the right one - It is most likely that someone just forgot to carry the one (some advice to the U.S. Treasury - Lotus 1-2-3 rocks).
hat tip Gilgamesh