The Prime Minister Julia Gillard is about to return to her office in Suite MG 08 in Parliament House, Canberra, no doubt a little deflated by the experience of having to dispatch Mr Rudd to the backbench, but also relieved with the fact that she has locked in her authority as Prime Minister until the next election.
As Ms Gillard settles into the work at hand, she’ll need no reminding of the following facts:
- Unemployment is 5.1% and it looks like staying low for the next year or two.
- GDP growth is 2.5% and on track to lift to 3% or a little more in the second half of 2012.
- Inflation is 2.5% and has been in the RBA’s target range for almost two years.
- Real wages continue to rise, locking in a decade of rising living standards and rising purchasing power for consumers.
- The official cash rate is 4.25%, having been brought down from 6.75% when the Coalition lost office in 2007.
- The standard variable mortgage interest rate is around 7.4%, down from 8.55% when the Coalition lost office in November 2007.
- The 3 year fixed term mortgage rate, for those interested, is currently around 6.0%, down from 8.2% when the Coalition lost office in November 2007.
- The Budget, to be delivered in 10 weeks, will deliver a surplus in 2012-13 and there will be surpluses in each of the out-years.
- Net government debt is peaking below 9% of GDP and in four months time, will start to fall.
- The company tax rate and personal income tax are going to be cut in a few months.
- Pensions are about to rise.
- Superannuation contributions are scheduled to rise.
- Australia still has its triple-A credit rating by all three major ratings agencies.
Overall? Not a bad scene to walk back to.
I would hazard a guess that just about every other Prime Minister or President anywhere in the world would swap their circumstance for these.