WEEKEND ECONOMIST: Back in the black?

Treasurer Wayne Swan has poured cold water on budding budget optimism, but forecasts suggest Australia will be back in surplus by around 2013.

In the US, there were no surprises from the Federal Reserve which left the key Fed Funds rate on hold at zero to 0.25 per cent and reiterated that economic conditions are likely to warrant exceptionally low rates for an "extended period”. However, the Fed did sound a bit more upbeat on the economic outlook and it wouldn’t surprise to see some relaxation of the "extended period" language in the next few months in order to give it a bit more flexibility.

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