Mid-year outlook to shed light on budget surplus

TREASURER Wayne Swan will release the Federal Government's mid-year economic and fiscal outlook on Monday, up-dating the public on how it will reach the much-touted $1.5 billion budget surplus for 2012-13.

Mr Swan's office revealed he would unveil the MYEFO on Monday, despite the release being earlier than the usual November release date, when more economic data was usually available.

The data will come after Westpac chief economist Bill Evans last week updated the banks forecasts for the government budget, revealing at least a $3 billion shortfall in revenue.

Mr Evans wrote the shortfall would have to be plugged by either spending cuts or raising taxes.

Deloitte Access Economic will also release its September quarter economic update on Monday.

It will said the next round of resource projects will be "a pale shadow" of the previous round of approvals, potentially creating a larger revenue hole for the government over the next two years.

The Deloitte update said there was a risk of a "pothole in growth" in 2014-15, as the surge in mining constructions slows, before the major construction projects in the gas export industry begin.

"That's not the end of the world, but it suggests the difficult business environment of the last couple of years won't disappear any time soon," the update reads.

In his weekly economic update, Mr Swan wrote finding the extra savings would be tough, and challenging global conditions were "weighing on some sectors".

But he also indicated a heavier reliance in future on monetary policy to manage demand; but with every rate cut from the Reserve Bank of Australia, there would be less options available.

Mr Swan wrote given several "sturdy fundamentals" - such as low interest rates, low unemployment and a good credit rating, returning the budget to surplus remained critically important.



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