12 Oct 2012

Australian economic outlook strong: Swan

9:52 am on 12 October 2012

Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan says Australia can't avoid the slowdown in the global economy, but the national economic outlook remains strong.

AAP reports the International Monetary Fund this week upgraded Australia's growth in 2012 to 3.3%, from 3%, but lowered the outlook for the following year to 3%, from 3.5%.

Mr Swan said Australia would feel the impact of a weakening global economy.

"We are not immune from what is going on, particularly in the region," he said.

"Of course, you have seen weaker commodity prices in recent times and that will have an impact on our economy, on our national income and of course our budget."

But the treasurer said the domestic economy was still forecast to expand at a trend rate of around 3.25% where the economic fundamentals remained robust with strong investment in the resources sector, low inflation and a "relatively low" level of unemployment.

Official data issued on on Thursday showed Australia's jobless rate rose to a two-year high of 5.4% in September from 5.1% the previous month.

Full-time workers rose by 32,100 in September, but this was offset by a loss of 17,700 part-time positions.

Mr Swan said the federal budget remained on course to deliver a surplus in 2012/13

AAP reports he is to attend the annual meetings of the IMF and the World Bank Group this weekend in Tokyo.