Hockey says Aussie dollar not too weak

Treasurer Joe Hockey says the Australian dollar, now sitting below 70 US cents, isn’t too low.


Mr Hockey said he would leave judgment of fair value of the Australian dollar to the markets.

But many Australian exporters had struggled when the Australian dollar was near parity with the US dollar, he told Bloomberg Television from Turkey where he’s attending a G20 finance ministers’ meeting.

Asked if the dollar was too weak, he replied: “No, as the head of our central bank identified the other day, he’s not upset about the current level.”

“The fact is we can cope with a currency that continues to fall, because it is going to empower our exporters and in the main Australia is always a beneficiary of better export prices.”

Mr Hockey said Australia had a diversified economy, much more diversified than people appreciated.

“Therefore we will be able to cope with whatever happens in China or more particularly in other parts of the world, so long as it’s not a global-wide phenomena,” he said.

Mr Hockey said the budget forecasts, formulated before the downturn in China, were about right.

National accounts, released this week, showed modest growth of 0.2 per cent growth, which economists said was much worse than they were expecting.

Mr Hockey said they were missing the full year data plus more recent data which indicated strong growth in services which represents 70 per cent of the economy.

He said mining and resources represented 10 per cent of the economy and agriculture under five per cent, through they were a big part of exports.

“We are seeing pretty strong employment growth, even in the wake of us not getting our economic growth back to what is our trend growth rate of around 3.25 per cent,” he said.