AUSTRALIA’S major newspapers have been forced to retract a report about the country’s economy, following a backlash over the use of the term “sustains economic growth”.
The Australian Financial Review published a report titled “Australia’s economic outlook” in September, which used a phrase attributed to Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott to describe the country as “slightly” better off than when the global economic crisis began in 2008.
It said “the country’s growth in the first half of 2017 was substantially better than the average growth for the first six months of any year since the end of World War II”.
But in a statement on Tuesday, the newspaper’s managing director of news, James P. Dolan, said that the term did not mean Australia’s economy was in “sunk” and was instead referring to the Australian economy as “moving through the next few quarters”.
“The phrase ‘slightly better off’ was used in the headline of the article, which implied that Australian economic performance was being buoyed by strong macroeconomic conditions and a strong return to business activity, rather than the actual state of the economy,” Mr Dolan said.
“This is incorrect.
This phrase means Australia’s economic performance has been buoyed substantially by strong domestic demand, a strong domestic export base, a stronger domestic currency and an active, healthy domestic business sector.”
The newspaper said the term used in its article was “a reference to a strong and robust domestic economy”, but added it did not necessarily mean that the economy was “sinking”.
“Rather, the term ‘somewhat better off’, while sometimes used in headlines to describe Australia’s performance, is a reference to the state of Australian economic activity and a reference, in this case, to the strong and strong domestic supply of the Australian dollar, a currency that has supported the economy since its onset in the mid-2000s,” Mr Polan said in the statement.
“The use of ‘sounds good’ does not necessarily imply that the state-of-the-economy is improving.
It is simply a matter of context.”‘
The economic outlook is the best we’ve seen since the financial crisis’ The Financial Review article quoted former Bank of Australia Governor Glenn Stevens as saying Australia’s “economic outlook” was “the best we’d seen since World War Two”.
“It’s been very stable for the past five years, so it’s not a great change from the way things were a few years ago,” Mr Stevens said in an interview with the Financial Review on Tuesday.
“But it’s a good outlook for a country that’s been in recession for a long time.”‘
This is not a new development’In a blog post on Tuesday afternoon, Mr Dola wrote that the “economy has been in an economic slump since mid-2015, but it has not been as bad as it could have been”.
“Australia’s ‘economic outlook’ is the most important economic indicator to policymakers, and it’s been quite stable,” Mr Golan wrote.
“I know from experience that the news media have a habit of doing what they can to spin the facts around, but we should be careful about trying to overstate the case for the government’s economic policies, because the economic outlook we have today is not as good as it might have been.”
Mr Dolan’s comments came after the Federal Government released a statement saying the “economic data” in the “sustainability” report was “very good”.
“We know Australia’s financial sector is stronger than ever, and we know the Australian people are more optimistic about the future than ever,” the statement said.
Topics:business-economics-and-finance,government-and/or-politics,business-group,economics,australiaFirst posted September 19, 2019 06:17:36Contact Nick WigglesworthMore stories from New South Wales