Derek_L wrote: But at the same time - this is the first time in 15 years the Austrlaian government has been in a surplus (of $10 or 15 billion, I can't remember) .....
Sorry Derek, not true. We had surpluses the whole time Little Johnny was in power. The thing to remember is this - even if Little Johnny was still in, we'd still have a deficit now, and it's not because the govt "spent it". It's because the money they were supposed to receive in taxes simply won't be there now that business profits are down.
Aussie Mark wrote:
Not really. How much have prices gone up since last year? That's called inflation. It's no surprise that sales revenues would be up compared to a year ago. Businesses have to recoup increases in wages, energy costs, raw materials, insurance, rent, etc. If any business can not increase sales by 4% per annum they would be out of business quick smart, as their costs would overtake revenue.
This is true, but if we're going to go searching for positives in this crisis, there are 2:- Oil prices came down, and it stopped the upward pressure on inflation so interest rates came down.
The Inflation you're talking about has more to do with the exchange rate falling over, and that's directly related to the crisis. It means it costs businesses more to buy stock and for the most part they're passing the extra cost on, but they can only do that for so long, and they can only do that while they're still selling stuff - hence the need to keep people spending.