Australian PM Optimistic About Economy

Posted October 6th, 2011 at 6:10 pm (UTC-5)
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Australia Prime Minister Julia Gillard says the country’s economy has recovered after the global crisis two years ago and that it will continue to grow.

Speaking Thursday at the Future Jobs Forum in the capital Canberra, Ms. Gillard said the employment has grown five percent mainly due to expansion in mining and construction industries. She also said the Australian dollar is strong and will remain so for a while.

But she acknowledged the currency’s strength is hurting the country’s manufacturing sector as it makes Australian goods more expensive for overseas buyers.

The prime minister said the government will expand plans that require big construction projects to use Australian-made goods. The measure applied last year to Commonwealth projects worth more than $19 million will now include states and industries that receive federal grants.

Australia’s economy has benefited from Asia’s booming growth, which has generated record trade with the resource-rich country.