Only modest growth. The gross domestic product figures out tomorrow seem bound to show an economy growing only modestly.

This morning’s balance payments numbers from the Australian Bureau of Statistics will see to that with the ABS calculating that the rise in the net goods and services deficit of $1,816m (14%) to $14,635m in the March quarter expected to detract 0.5 percentage points from growth in the March quarter GDP volume measure.

Hardly a vote winner. Telling the people that you don’t care what they think is hardly going to be a vote winner at the next election but it is what Labor is committing itself to over its carbon tax.

Climate Change Minister Greg Combet has now reiterated Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s promise to block in the Senate any repeal effort by a future Coalition government. Not a good idea that demonstrates a very perverse view of democracy.

Now some good news. The Aussie dollar may be falling in dollar but crude oil prices are falling even faster which is sure to be pleasing for consumers.

Brent crude futures

A quote of the day

“At the moment I’d suggest that everyone has got default war on their brains. They’re looking at how to arm, how to continue fighting. When you have war, you don’t have women’s rights, you don’t have human rights, you don’t have rule of law, democracy’s out of the window. And for that to be all that the international powers offer as they pack their bags and go home, I think it’s defeat.”

— Kate Clark of the Afghan Analysts Network gives a verdict on intervention in Afghanistan on the ABC’s 7.30

Some news and views noted along the way.

Peter Fray

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