BlackRock positive on Australia

The latest BlackRock Sovereign Risk Index (BSRI) has treated the Australian economy positively, but it was an assessment based on the presumption of the Government delivering a Budget surplus.

Australia, in fact, moved up the BSRI rankings along with both China and New Zealand, with the BlackRock analysis noting that this country appeared to have weathered the slow-down in Chinese economic growth.

"When China sneezes, its raw materials supplier Australia catches a cold, investors say these days," the analysis said. However it said that in BSRI terms, "the lucky country appears to be taking its flu shots".

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"It has remained largely immune to China's slowdown in economic growth last year," it said.

The analysis said Australia's steady march up the index accelerated in the most recent quarter when it jumped three notches to seventh place, mainly thanks to an improved primary balance.

"Increases in government receipts have more than offset an uptick in spending, and the country is expecting a surplus this fiscal year," the BlackRock analysis said.

The Treasurer, Wayne Swan, announced recently that the Government was no longer confident a surplus could be delivered.

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