RBA gambles on China – MacroBusiness

Glenn Stevens: Those at home [Australia] see this as well. As consumers, they have responded to the higher exchange rate with record levels of international travel. As producers, however, they also see, with increasing clarity, that the rise in the relative price of natural resources amounts to a global and epochal shift, which carries important implications for economic structure in Australia, as it does everywhere else. Some sectors of the economy will grow in importance as they invest and employ to take advantage of higher prices. Other sectors will get relatively smaller, particularly in the traded sector, as they face relatively lower prices for their products and competition for inputs from the stronger sectors. The exchange rate response to this shift in fundamentals is sending very clearly the signal to shift the industry mix, though this would occur at any exchange rate. The shift in relative prices is a shift in global prices that is more or less invariant to the level of the Australian dollar…..

Delusional Economics: And there is the China gamble laid bare for all to see. It is true that in relative pricing terms Australia’s income has increased but, as the Governor alludes to, the prices we are paying for cheaper imports is a hollowing out of some industries and a corresponding restructuring of the labour force. By not intervening via monetary and/or fiscal policy in the capital flows associated with the commodities boom the government and the RBA have made it clear that a restructure of the economy will be the outcome.

However, as I have pointed out in my analysis of Europe , and Mr Stevens goes on to say later in the speech, structural change is difficult and expensive. By allowing the economy to restructure in this way we are making a one-way bet on China. That is, if we’ve got it wrong on Beijing, we are in seriously deep trouble because there is no Plan B.

via RBA gambles on China – MacroBusiness.

2 Replies to “RBA gambles on China – MacroBusiness”

  1. Putting all your eggs in one basket is never desirable. Neither is supporting a car maker (Holden) to keep jobs in manufacturing. The opportunity is to play to our strenghts and supporting those sectors in the economy, taking into account the trend towards sustainability.

    1. Politicians cannot resist dabbling in areas that should best be left alone. The capitalist system survives because of creative destruction. If you interfere with the process, you mess up the capital/resource allocation process and it stops working.

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