- Australia's conservative government has forecast a budget deficit of A$47B (U.S. $42.3B) in the year ending June 30, well above a projection in August by the previous Labor government of A$30.1B.
- Treasurer Joe Hockey said returning to sustainable surpluses would take at least a decade, and would "require a sustained and fundamental structural overhaul of expenditure."
- Hockey left a prediction for GDP growth of 2.5% unchanged, but said unemployment would rise to 6% vs a previous forecast of 6.25% and 5.8% in November.
- The S&P/ASX 200 is +0.3% and the AUD-USD is -1% at $0.8941.
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