Despite the uptick i

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SYDNEY, Dec. 19 (Xinhua) -- Australia has retained its coveted Triple-A credit rating despite the mid-year fiscal outlook showing cumulative deficits will be 10.3 billion Australian dollars (7.52 billion U.S. dolars) higher than previously expected, though it remains on negative watch.


Australia downgraded its fiscal 201617 growth forecast to 2 percent, than the 2.5 percent expected in the May budget following shock September national accounts data. GDP growth will remain below trend in fiscal 201718 at 2.75 percent from the three percent estimate in May, the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) showed on Monday.


Australian Treasurer Scott Morrison assurances of returning to balance by fiscal 202021 through revenue raising initiatives and a "welfare crackdown" that shows the government's plan is on track seemed to have convinced sovereign ratings agencies to affirm the coveted Triple-A.


"The government's decision to maintain the objective of a balanced budget by 2020-21 denotes continued commitment to fiscal consolidation," Moody's Investors Service associate managing director Marie Diron said in a statement on Monday following MYEFO's release.


"However, meeting the fiscal targets will be difficult in an environment of weaker nominal GDP growth."


Global ratings agencies have warned Australia a halt to ballooning government spending was not enough to ensure sovereign AAA ratings were maintained, arguing revenue raising measures are also needed to curb growing debt which was "credit negative".


"There was a hope that the pickup in commodity prices would remove that risk (of a ratings downgrade), but the weak wages growth we've been seeing indicates that risk remains," AMP Capital chief economist Shane Oliver told Xinhua on Monday.


"Initially the main factor leading to deterioration in Australia's budget outlook was the falling commodity prices, but now it's turned around, the risk has shifted to the labour market, the weakness in wages growth which is hitting personal tax collections and also corporate tax collections to some degree."


Though Australia has passed this hurdle, eyes now turn to the May 2017 budget as the next threshold event for a ratings downgrade.


Despite the uptick in coal and iron ore prices, the key commodities are unlikely to be supported over the medium term, impacting resource tax collections. Australia's slack labor market and weak wages growth is also revenue negative for Australia, which Deloitte Access Economics has forecasted will blow the timing of Morrison's return to surplus out even further.


While Moody's says Australia's capacity to absorb financial shocks and fiscal metrics and in line with other similarly rated peers, ratings agency Standard's & Poor's was "pessimistic" of the government's ability to return to balance.


"The government's worsening forecast fiscal position, as outlined in its latest budget projections earlier today, further pressures the rating," S&P said in statement.


"Over the coming months, we will continue to monitor the government's willingness and ability to enact new budget savings or revenue measures to reduce fiscal deficits materially over the next few years."


AMP Capital chief economist Shane Oliver said it's only a matter of time before Australia's rating is actually downgraded.


"Ratings downgrade is a question of when. There's no point in (starting the) blame game," Oliver said on social media.


"Both sides of politics got us in this mess, both sides need to fix it."




RIO DE JANEIRO, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) -- Following are the results of boxing men's middle (75kg) at the Rio Olympic Games here on Saturday:


1. Arlen Lopez, Cuba


2. Bektemir Melikuziev, Uzbekistan


3. Kamran Shakhsuvarly, Azerbaijan


3. Misael Uziel Rodriguez, Mexico


5. Christian Mbilli, France


5. Krishan Vikas, India


5. Zhanibek Alimkhanuly, Kazakhstan


5. Hosam Hussein Bakr Abdin, Egypt



" A Short Introduction To Parking Management July 22 Frank Thomas Jersey , 2013 | Author: Carmella Watts | Posted in Business

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