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The economy will continue growing at a robust pace. Business investment outside the housing and mining sectors will pick up, with exports boosted as new resource-sector capacity comes on stream. The strengthening labour market and household incomes will sustain private consumption, and inflation and wages will pick up gradually.
The central bank is projected to start raising the policy rate in the second half of 2018 and expectations of this move, together with macro-prudential measures, are helping cool the housing market. The fiscal position is sound and the government is committed to gradually close the budget deficit. In the event of an unexpected downturn, fiscal policy should be used to support activity and protect the incomes of the most vulnerable.
The prolonged period of low interest rates has fuelled high house prices in large metropolitan areas. Substantial mortgage borrowing has resulted in households being highly indebted. To contain risks associated with potential large house-price corrections and financial stress, macro-prudential measures should be maintained. Australia is also vulnerable to “too big to fail” risks, due to its highly concentrated banking sector.
Economic Survey of Australia (survey page)