The Recession that Never Was Wed 6 June 2012 Lara Giddings Premier The Premier, Lara Giddings, today said the latest ABS National Accounts data exposed the folly of the Liberal Opposition's use of unreliable statistics to declare Tasmania was in recession. Ms Giddings said the ABS had revised previous estimates and showed that the economy had actually been growing at the time the Liberals were crowing about a recession. "I have consistently acknowledged that the Tasmanian economy is facing tough times due to the high Australian dollar and the global financial situation, which is reflected in today's figures," Ms Giddings said. "But the three consecutive quarters of decline that the Liberals claimed as evidence Tasmania was in recession have now been revised to show low-level growth (see table below). "Based on today's figures the Liberal recession never existed. "Will Hodgman and Peter Gutwein should exercise more caution before they next try to use limited and changeable quarterly data to support their usual negative spin. "While today's ABS national accounts show overall economic activity remains soft, there are encouraging signs that household spending is gaining momentum with seven consecutive quarters of growth worth $15 billion over the past year." Ms Giddings said business spending also remains robust strong with $4.5 billion of private capital investment. "Tasmanian businesses have invested more than $1.4 billion in machinery and equipment over the past year. "The trade figures are also very encouraging with overseas exports up 10% over the year including $815 million exports over the past three months. "According to CommSec, the best description of the performance of States and Territories lies in combining state final demand and exports and on this measure, Tasmania is growing by 0.8 per cent. "The main area where growth has not been occurring is in government expenditure due to the continued wind down of the economic stimulus and strong decisions to manage the State Budget. Ms Giddings said that Tasmania's economic development plan was focussed on diversifying Tasmania's economy to ensure that we do not miss out on the opportunities of the mining boom and the rapidly growing Asian middle class. "I have also consistently said that most comprehensive measure of growth in our economy is the Gross State Product data, which for Tasmania only comes out once a year, in November. "In contrast, the Liberals are so desperate to talk Tasmania down that they constantly seize on unreliable quarterly data that is regularly revised. "In this case the three consecutive quarters that they were citing as evidence of a recession have now been revised to show our economy was actually growing, albeit slowly, as the table below shows. State Final Demand Last Quarter's data Today's revised data Dec-2010 0.48% 0.43% Mar-2011 0.12% 0.07% Jun-2011 -0.07% 0.12% Sep-2011 -0.12% 0.03% Dec-2011 -0.04% -0.09% Mar-2012 N/A -0.28% "It's about time the Liberals stopped crying wolf, stopped talking Tasmania down at every opportunity, and joined the Government in trying to restore confidence in the State economy," Ms Giddings said.