Double dose of optimism
GYMPIE Region residents and business people received more encouraging news yesterday, as another serve of warm economic forecasts helped dispel the mid-winter gloom.
Fresh from releasing news of the optimistic views of Gympie Region businesses on Tuesday night, councillors yesterday heard similarly positive indications from a senior ANZ Bank economist, brought to Gympie by the Queensland Treasury Corporation.
In a special presentation, Sydney-based economist Shane Lee told yesterday’s general meeting of council that Australia’s commodity boom was only just beginning and that it would include agricultural commodities from the Gympie Region.
“Hard commodities” like coal and iron were not the only things in demand, with a continuing boom also building in the export of goods like pork, chicken and beef, he said.
While predicting that a “double-dip recession is more likely than not” for many European economies, some nations like Germany were benefiting from the lower value of the Euro.
America was performing better than Europe, but China, which was now Australia’s biggest trading partner, appeared to have seamlessly moved from reliance on American consumers to an economy underpinned by its own domestic demand.
“Asia has seen a slow-down, not a recession and their recovery has been exceptionally strong,” he said.
“History suggests we are still in the first half of the commodity upswing.
“China is likely to become a large agricultural importer with the emergence of a large urban population.
“An affluent urban population will demand more protein and high quality agricultural products,” he said.
Deputy Mayor Tony Perrett said he welcomed the optimism from both local business and the banking sector and said Gympie’s cattle industry had weathered the financial crisis well.