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Press Release No. 2 2010 - Treasury Economic Roundup: Issue 1 2010


Thursday, 8 April 2010

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Issue 1, 2010 of the Treasury Economic Roundup will be released on Saturday, 10 April 2010. This issue contains two recent speeches by members of Treasury’s Executive Board and a number of research articles prepared by Treasury staff.

The first speech is by Dr Ken Henry AC, Secretary to the Treasury, who delivered a presentation on Changing Taxes for Changing Times to the Australasian Tax Teachers Association conference on 21 January 2010. The second speech is by Dr David Gruen, Executive Director (Domestic), Macroeconomic Group, who presented on The Economic Outlook and Challenges for the Australian Economy to the American Chamber of Commerce on 19 February 2010.

The first article examines Australia’s current account deficit in a global context. The article finds that Australia is clearly differentiated from other deficit countries in that recent high deficits have been driven by rises in non-housing investment — mainly in response to high resource prices — while national saving has been increasing.

The second article summarises two Treasury working papers on the responsiveness of female labour supply to the cost, availability and quality of child care. The article reports that the cost of child care has a negative effect on the labour supply of married mothers, and that non-price aspects of child care may also affect mothers’ labour supply.

The third article draws out some lessons for policymakers considering the use of sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) in managing resource revenue in developing countries. The article identifies principles for successful SWFs. These include transparency, public support for the SWF, integration of the SWF with the national budget and the use of professional investment management.

A regular report summarising the outcomes of Treasury’s Business Liaison Program is also included. Treasury staff held discussions with 29 businesses in five cities during February 2010. The report outlines the key themes that arose in these discussions.

The final article is the twelfth in a series of biographies of Australia’s federal treasurers. Edward Theodore served an interrupted term as treasurer in the Scullin government during the Great Depression. He was well read in economics, and was an early advocate of Keynesian ideas.

The Economic Roundup will be available on Treasury’s Internet home page (http://www.treasury.gov.au) from the morning of Saturday, 10 April 2010. Journalists may include stories based on it in morning editions of papers on Saturday, 10 April 2010.

8 April 2010

Contact: Andrew Craston
Domestic Economy Division
Telephone: (02) 6263 3216

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