Chalmers claims Australia faces “significant challenges” following ABS economic growth data
Jim Chalmers has criticised the former Morrison Government for a weaker than expected national economy, while claiming the country has significant challenges ahead.
The treasurer said Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data released on Wednesday following the March quarter demonstrated the issues facing the economy, with the results reflecting a slower than expected growth.
“Australians know there are significant challenges in our economy,” Mr Chalmers said.
“The results today, and developments since the March quarter, confirm this.”
According to the statistics, the economy grew by 0.8 per cent during the first three months of the year.
The annual pace of the rate of growth had also slowed, down to 3.3 per cent from 4.2 per cent.
Quarterly growth in the Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Outlook was 1.8 per cent for the March quarter, lower than forecast by Treasury.
Mr Chalmers said household consumption was “relatively strong”, growing 1.5 per cent over the quarter, cost of living continued to increase.
“The Reserve Bank of Australia increased the cash rate last month with further rate rises expected,” he said.
“Fuel and gas prices facing households remain elevated while electricity prices are set to increase.
“Petrol prices have increased by around 12 per cent since the end of April.
“Labour shortages and ongoing absenteeism continue to constrain businesses and put pressure on supply chains across the domestic economy.”
Mr Chalmers said Labor had “inherited the worst financial position of any incoming government since at least World War II” but the government “can’t afford to be complacent.”
“The ongoing war in Ukraine (is) continuing to disrupt global supply chains, China’s COVID response likely to impact global growth, and global inflationary pressures continuing to evolve,” he said.
However, he said the new government was working to build a “better future for all Australians, including a stronger, broader and more sustainable economy.”
“This means a future powered by cleaner and cheaper energy, a better-trained workforce with higher participation and key investments in the care economy, digital economy and a future made in Australia,” Mr Chalmers said.
“This will give Australians the best chance to earn a decent living, keep up with the skyrocketing costs of living, secure more opportunities and actually get ahead.”