CEDA report finds 2019 is the year of uncertainty, Australia must focus on domestic policy certainty

This year is likely to be a year of high-level uncertainty on the economic, policy and politics front both domestically and internationally, according to the CEDA 2019 Economic and Political Overview (EPO) report released today.

CEDA CEO Melinda Cilento said the high-level uncertainty meant Australia should focus on building up its resilience through the key areas where it can bring certainty, such as Budget discipline and durable policy in energy and climate change.
CEDA’s report highlights that US China relations, questions around the strength of the Chinese economy and the Federal Election here, are all fuelling uncertainty,” Ms Cilento said.

“Arguably in almost 40 years of producing the CEDA EPO report, there has never been a year with so many question marks about how the year will unfold.

“The government and the opposition need to deliver strong policies in areas we can control that have been lacking.
“There is always economic uncertainty we can’t control, but there are areas where Australia can remove uncertainty around key policies and get its house in order, and this is where we should focus our attention.
“CEDA’s nation-wide community pulse poll in 2018 showed the community want our political leaders to focus on policy that delivers for the community.
“In an election year, there is an acute risk that policy discipline will slip, something that Australia can ill afford given the uncertain global environment and the need to build up economic and fiscal buffers.
“As highlighted on the report’s economic chapter, policy inertia and Federal Government performance is having a negative impact on business decision-making and contributing to a risk-averse decision-making culture.”
Ms Cilento said key areas of focus should be: energy, taxation, planning and infrastructure, climate change and long-term budget repair.
“The Federal Budget and the Opposition’s Reply should be judged by their impact on the long-term health of the Federal Budget, not short-term one-off decisions,” she said.
“We face significant demographic, economic and technological challenges that point to tough budgetary decisions for coming governments. Laying the right foundations, with a longer-term focus that pays down debt and strengthens the underlying structure of revenue and expenditure programs is vital.”
This year the CEDA Economic and Political Overview 2019, provides economic, political and policy overviews with both a domestic and international lens.
The CEDA 2019 EPO contributing authors are:
  • Economic overview: Michael Blythe, Chief Economist and Managing Director, Economics, Commonwealth Bank of Australia
  • Domestic political overview: Karen Middleton, Chief Political Correspondent, The Saturday Paper
  • International political overview: Sara James, Emmy Award-winning journalist and author
  • Domestic policy overview: Dr Jenny Gordon, Chief Economist, Nous Group
  • European policy overview: Dr Hubertus Bardt, Managing Director and Head of Research at the Institut der deutschen Wirtschaft Köln (German Economic Institute)
  • US economic overview: Dr Joseph Minarik, Senior Vice President and Director of Research, US Committee for Economic Development
  • China policy overview: Associate Professor Jane Golley, Acting Director, Australian Centre on China in the World, Australian National University
The EPO is being launched in Brisbane today, Thursday 14 February 2019. Speakers in Brisbane include: Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Chief Economist and Managing Director, Economics, Michael Blythe; The University of Queensland Chancellor, Peter Varghese AO; United States Studies Centre CEO, Professor Simon Jackman, Emmy Award winning journalist and author, Sara James; and Griffith Business School Professor of Politics and Policy and Channel 10 Political Editor, Peter van Onselen.

The launch event will be followed by a series of events being held in Canberra, Sydney, Hobart, Perth, Townsville, Melbourne and Adelaide in February and March.

Melinda Cilento is available for further comment and interviews.
For more information, please contact:
Roxanne Punton, Director, External Affairs                                  
Mobile: 0409 532 287 | Email: roxanne.punton@ceda.com.au
Eleanor Green, Media and Communications Advisor
Mobile: 0408 375 600 | Email: eleanor.green@ceda.com.au

About CEDA

CEDA – the Committee for Economic Development of Australia – is an independent, not-for-profit membership organisation.

We identify policy issues that matter for Australia’s future. We work to drive policies that deliver better economic, social and environmental outcomes for Australia. We deliver on our purpose by: Leveraging insights from our members to identify and understand the most important issues Australia faces. Facilitating collaboration and idea sharing to invoke imaginative, innovative and progressive policy solutions. Providing a platform to stimulate thinking, raise new ideas and debate critical and challenging issues. Influencing decision makers in government, business and the community by delivering objective information and expert analysis and advocating in support of our positions. CEDA's membership spans every state and territory and includes Australia's leading businesses, community organisations, government departments and academic institutions. The organisation was founded in 1960 by leading economist Sir Douglas Copland, and his legacy of applying economic analysis to practical problems to aid the development of Australia continues as we celebrate 60 years of influence, reform and impact across the nation.;