FACTBOX-Australia Treasurer Swan seen a frugal spender

SYDNEY, Sept 7 (BestGrowthStock) – Australian Deputy Prime Minister
and Treasurer Wayne Swan, expected to retain the number two job
in government after his party retained power on Tuesday, is
seen as a fiscal conservative and unlikely to steer the budget
off course.

With Australia escaping recession and running one of the
lowest budget deficit and debts levels in the developed world,
many consider Swan’s jobs one of the easiest in cabinet.
<^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ For full Australian election cover [nAUVOTE] Gillard's news conference: http://link.reuters.com/mar79n Aussie vulnerable: http://link.reuters.com/dyq79n Australia political risks: http://r.reuters.com/gan92n For an election graphic: http://link.reuters.com/cyq79n ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^>
* Swan, a former academic, political strategist and
powerbroker, has been Labor Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s
closest ally since she wrestled power from Kevin Rudd in a June
party coup.

* Under his watch, Australia has enjoyed an exceptional,
commodities-led boom, fuelled by rapid industrialisation in
China and India. It not only escaped recession in the global
financial crisis but has recorded 19 uninterrupted years of
growth.

* Australia’s economy has performed better than anyone
hoped this year, expanding at its fastest clip in three years
at 1.2 percent in the second quarter. Crucially, employment has
far outpaced even the most optimistic forecasts. It rose
300,000 in the year to July while inflation remained in check.

* Rapid growth has cut unemployment to 5.3 percent in July
— half of that in the United States — while solid household
consumption, surging capital investments, rising terms of trade
and Asia’s insatiate appetite for commodities such as coal and
iron ore are seen keeping growth strong.

* To stave off recession in the global financial crisis,
the government dished out A$52 billion ($47.3 billion) to
stimulate the economy. Yet, debt will peak at just 6 percent of
gross domestic product (GDP), a tenth of that in the United
States or Britain. The 2010/11 budget deficit, seen at 2.9
percent of GDP compares with 10.6 percent for the United
States.

* Swan has pledged to return the budget to surplus by 2013
and the market has found the plan credible. Even during the
two-week election impasse, the Australian dollar (AUD=: ) barely
wobbled as all political parties were seen to be fiscally
prudent.

* With the election victory secured, economists still see
little fiscal risk. Swan has a credible track record while the
opposition will keep relentless pressure on him to keep the
budget on track. As Labor lacks the majority, the independents
who hold the balance of power are also expected to keep the
pressure on the government.

* The big challenge for Australia is not reviving growth
but preventing overheating. The Reserve Bank of Australia led
the developed world in raising interest rates by 150 basis
points between October and May, mostly to cool a red-hot
property market. With full employment levels not far off and
spare capacity for anything from mining to housing expected to
run short, keeping inflation subdued is the key task.
(Reporting by Balazs Koranyi)

FACTBOX-Australia Treasurer Swan seen a frugal spender