Business

China is to do a bit better over last year: BT economist

CHINA is plodding along, Europe's illnesses won't be fatal and while the mining construction boom has passed, the industry itself is still powering along.

That is what guests gleaned from a speech by BT chief economist Dr Chris Caton whose topics pinballed from India's growing population, the need for greater productivity in Australia and his belief that our currency is just about to fall.

Unfortunately, Dr Caton admitted even he had little faith in that final prediction, explaining he had repeatedly been wrong in trying to guess the future of the dollar.

The economist fronted a lecture put on by Griffith University Business School and Australian Institute of Company Directors in Brisbane on Wednesday.

In his rapid-fire, 20-minute speech, he compared hip surgery to divorce, delivered a veiled poke to New Zealand and zipped through most of the economic problems facing both Australia and the world.

"China is to do a bit better over last year," he said.

"We're used to contemplating the end of the mining (capital expenditure) boom, but that's not the mining boom."

He said even as the construction work waned, it would result in the completion of major projects delivering more coal to export markets.

But for those in the mining construction game, he suggested it might be time to move over to production, or actual mining.

He said construction jobs nationwide fell by 30% in the 12 months to November last year, with only public service roles copping a harder hit.

Moving beyond our continent, he described the challenges facing Europe - particularly Spain and Greece - as "depressant but not destructive", with Greece's economy barely worth a mention because it was roughly worth the same as the American city of Philadelphia.

"And can you imagine anything happening in Philadelphia that would affect us here?" he said.

"The Europe debt problem will not go away quickly but it is not likely to end in catastrophe."

But Dr Caton saved his "most important" point until last - a slide showing a disclaimer that his speech was not intended to act as financial advice.

Topics:  china, economy


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

IS IT POSSIBLE? How to live alongside flying-foxes

A vexed questionof living with flying foxes will be discussed this Friday at the NPA forum.

THE conflict between urbanites and wildlife has a new battleground

Gamblers can beat betting

BEAT IT: Recovered gambling addict Blayne Marcantelli gives an emotional address at the Responsible Gambling Awareness screening of the movie, Broke, at Ballina Cinema.

Lismore Baker raises awareness for problem gambling.

Elder’s art tells tales of past for today’s kids

INSPIRING: Uncle Digby Moran with Lismore Heights Public student Shannyah Hope at Lismore Regional Gallery.

Bundjalung Elder teaches heritage through art and stories.

Latest deals and offers

WATCH: Local artists ‘paint’ the Opera House with light

RHONDA Roberts and Karla Dickens' work will be seen by millions of visitors and Sydney-siders from tonight.

IS IT POSSIBLE? How to live alongside flying-foxes

A vexed questionof living with flying foxes will be discussed this Friday at the NPA forum.

THE conflict between urbanites and wildlife has a new battleground

Gamblers can beat betting

BEAT IT: Recovered gambling addict Blayne Marcantelli gives an emotional address at the Responsible Gambling Awareness screening of the movie, Broke, at Ballina Cinema.

Lismore Baker raises awareness for problem gambling.

Elder’s art tells tales of past for today’s kids

INSPIRING: Uncle Digby Moran with Lismore Heights Public student Shannyah Hope at Lismore Regional Gallery.

Bundjalung Elder teaches heritage through art and stories.

NSW lags but North Coast booms on renewable energy

But Northern Rivers moving ahead at "cracking pace"

VIDEO: The fastest, easiest way to peel a potato?

There is a fast way to peel potatoes.

This 30-second video shows how quickly you can peel a potato

The best retro movies of the week? May 27 - June 3

Gregory Peck Photo Contributed

This week TV fan get to see Tom Cruise in a 1980s classics

Barnaby Joyce talks Johnny Depp's dogs in Tweed

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce talks about Johnny Depp's dogs Pistol and Boo...

Road rage caught on Dashcam

Attack with a baseball bat caught on Dashcam

Video of a violent road rage incident in Orange last December.

Malcolm Turnbull and Barnaby Joyce tour Rockhampton sweet potato farm

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce visit a...

Perfect time to invest in Northern Rivers property

The Northern Rivers rental market is tighter than Sydney making it the perfect time for investors to get better returns out of property than superannuation or banks deposits.

Low interest rates and tight rental market are prime time to invest