Predictions of China Surpassing the US as World's Largest Economy - Talking Business 2011 Ep 13c

A review of the week in business, with expert analysis and commentary

Garry and Leon talk about the prospect of the next American president being the last to preside over the world's largest economy, as the International Monetary Fund predicts China will surpass the US in 2016. All this coincided with Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s trip to China. She has met Premier Wen Jiabao for talks about trade and the regional political outlook. She is there to see a deal where iron ore miner Gindalbie Metals secures additional funding from China to develop its Karara Project in Western Australia. The agreement provides an extra $300 million in loan facilities, plus $300 million in loan guarantees, all from the China Development Bank and Bank of China. A jump in consumer prices has rate rises back on the Reserve Bank's agenda and has increased the pressure on Wayne Swan to deliver tough spending cuts in next month's budget. The 1.6 per cent rise in inflation in the first three months of the year is the highest quarterly rate since the GST was introduced in 2000. Housing credit growth will remain fragile over the next 12 months, forcing banks to try and maintain profit margins by finding better deals on their own borrowing, according to a joint report released on Wednesday by JPMorgan and Fujitsu Australia. The companies building Victoria's multibillion-dollar desalination plant are seeking compensation from taxpayers because of the impact of this year's floods on construction. Hot commodity prices that have propelled the Australian dollar's meteoric rise could soon push it to $US1.10, its strongest since 1982 and a level that several weeks ago was considered unthinkable. But analysts are saying the Aussie could hit a ceiling if the US economy picks up. The Canadian dollar may take over from the Australian dollar as the best performing commodity currency once the US economy and expectations of Federal Reserve policy tightening pick up. The dollar’s rise delivering mixed results for the economy. Treasurer Wayne Swan has blamed the mining sector's rosy future for the need to deliver a Budget next month that will concentrate on spending cuts. Family trusts are tipped to be targeted in next month's budget, in a move experts warn could have a significant impact on Australia's small businesses. An Independent Review of State Finances found Victoria was technically $1 billion in deficit last financial year because of the way one-off federal funds were accounted for. The world's largest scrap merchant, Sydney-based Sims Metal Management, said it expects net profit over the nine months to the end of March to be $123 million, up 74 per cent on the previous year. Breads and spreads maker Goodman Fielder has downgraded its full-year profit guidance after a "soft" third quarter. Australia's top banks are set to report record profits on falling bad-debt charges and out-of-cycle mortgage rate increases, though weak credit demand and rising costs will make it hard for them to repeat those. Telstra has secured exclusive rights to live stream every game of the Australian Football League (AFL) season, including all finals, from 2012 as part of a new five-year deal. The service will be available to Telstra's T-Box customers through mobile devices connected to its Next G network.

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Garry Barker and Leon Gettler
Business, RMIT, Economics