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.

Felix Riebl wants to be in your arms

TOURING NOW: Australian musician Felix Riebl is coming to the Northern Rivers in June.

Cat Empire frontman brings out his romantic side in solo show

Council ski jump vote 'small victory' for residents

CONTROVERSIAL: A digital image of the proposed Lake Ainsworth Olympic ski jump facility provided by the NSW Office of Sport.

Councillors vote 8-0 not to support development application

LGBQTI* community takes part in marriage equality action

VOTING FOR CHANGE: Maude Boate will be at the the marriage equality action at Lismore City Hall.

Lismore calls for awareness on marriage equality

Local Partners

Shot at the live shows slips through Sally's fingers

SUNSHINE Coast singer's dramatic elimination from The Voice nearly saw her form a duo with her battle round opponent.

Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor split after 17 years

They were married in May 2000 and have two children, who they said will remain their priority.

Ben Stiller and his wife Christine Taylor have called it a day

Why The Voice hasn't produced a star

Boy George responds to Brittania Clifford-Pugh's heart-warming message.

It's the industry, not the show, says Boy George

These actors hated their movies and didn’t mind admitting it

Channing Tatum and Marlon Wayans in a scene from GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra.

Every year, Hollywood blesses us with plenty of God awful movies.

Miranda Kerr and fiance hang up backyard tent for wedding

The decorators and caterers are arriving for the final preparations for the wedding of Miranda Kerr and Evan Spiegel. Pictures: Splash

Evan Spiegel and Miranda Kerr are set to marry today

Book review: Mia Freedman's book meets her critics head on

I appreciated Freedman's blunt honesty in the book

Man's amazing comeback from monster crisis

Pat O'Driscoll agents Penny Keating and Doug Webber sold 56 Agnes St, The Range at auction over the weekend.

NOT long ago, he sold his possessions to pay staff. Now he's back.

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

One of Maryborough's most historic homes is still for sale

FULL OF HISTORY: Trisha Moulds is owner of the historic Tinana state known as Rosehill. The beautiful home is currently for sale.

It has been the scene of both joy and tragedies over the years.

The face of the Sunshine Coast's overpriced rental crisis

Alyx Wilson had to rent a $385 unit in Currimundi because the market was too competitive for cheaper rental housing. She is now renting a room from friends who own a house in Currimundi, and says its much more affordable.

Young people feel the strain in competitive, expensive rental market

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!