You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Budget to get timely commodity lift

AAP logoAAP 1/11/2016 Colin Brinsden, AAP Economics Correspondent

The recent surge in commodity prices has proven timely for a federal government that has just lost a reliable Senate vote in Bob Day.

It could be next year before his Senate vacancy is filled as a likely High Court challenge scrutinises the parliamentary financial arrangements surrounding the former Family First senator and deem whether he should have been able to stand for parliament in the first place.

The Turnbull government still has billions of dollars of savings it wants to pass the parliament, as well as key legislation to reintroduce the Australian Building and Construction Commission and its registered organisation bill - the latter two being the reason for the double-dissolution election.

In the meantime, JP Morgan chief economist Sally Auld calculates the jump in coal prices, and to a lesser extent iron ore, in recent months could add $4 billion to the budget bottom line this year.

She also expects them to provide another "decent contribution" in the 2017/18 financial year.

"Better budget outcomes implies that there is less pressure on the government to achieve near term fiscal consolidation through discretionary policy tightening," she said in an analysis on Wednesday.

It also lessens the risk of fiscal policy being a near-term drag on economic growth, perhaps taking the pressure off monetary policy at the margin.

The Reserve Bank's commodity index released on Tuesday posted a 9.5 per cent rise for October, the largest monthly move in six years.

Over the past year, the index has increased by 16.0 per cent led by higher coking coal prices.

"The net outcome is for a terms of trade move in the vicinity of +15 per cent this (December) quarter, one of the largest gains in the history of the series," Ms Auld said.

In her analysis, Ms Auld says in the second half of this year coking coal prices have vaulted 110 per cent.

Such dynamics come as Parliamentary Budget Office research found the combined nationwide fiscal position deteriorated by almost $15 billion between the mid-year budget reviews of the Commonwealth, state and territories and their budgets this year.

The projected national fiscal deficit from 2015/16 to 2018/19 was $137.1 billion, compared to $122.3 billion at the time of the mid-year updates of all jurisdictions.

The PBO said about 60 per cent of the deterioration in the national fiscal balance was due to a downward revision of $8.9 billion in the projected Commonwealth balance.

Greens leader Richard Di Natale was unimpressed, saying the government was supposed to be "good financial managers".

"Yet we're seeing the budget bottom line worse off at the same time as billions of dollars of tax cuts are given to the wealthiest Australians," he told reporters in Melbourne, referring to the income and company tax cuts announced in the budget.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon