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The economy

Garnett, A.M.ORCID: 0000-0002-0819-7982 and Lewis, P. (2008) The economy. In: Aulich, C. and Wettenhall, R., (eds.) Howard's fourth government. UNSW Press, Sydney, NSW, Australia, pp. 135-151.


John Howard's fourth government has been a period of exceptional economic growth and prosperity. During this term over 855 000 net new jobs were created, unemployment, at just over 4 per cent, hit the lowest rate since 1975, while inflation largely remained within the Reserve Bank of Australia’s target rate of 2—3 per cent (ABS 2007 a; RBA 2007 a). The Howard government stands among the few governments in the world with budget surpluses and among the very few with no net government debt, having inherited a $96 billion debt with annual interest repayments of close to $8 billion when it first came to office in 1996 (Australian Treasury 1998). The total debt was repaid during its fourth term, with the commonwealth now a net lender to the financial sector.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Murdoch Affiliation: Murdoch Business School
Centre for Labour Market Research
Publisher: UNSW Press
Copyright: © UNSW Press 2008
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