“Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive”: Bernard Salt’s outlook for 2015
It all seems to be doom and gloom at the moment but I have a different view – there are reasons to be positive about 2015. What can we say that is optimistic about the coming year.
The first thing I would say is the extraordinary levels of population growth. We are adding 400,000 people per year at the moment, the long-term average is 200,000. Building construction, finance, infrastructure have got to do well as a consequence.
The dollar is down, it’s about 80 cents, two years ago it was at a $1.10. This has to have a positive impact on the demand for agribusiness product – that’s good for the regions. It’s got to have a positive impact on the demand for Australia’s manufacturing product that’s good for manufacturing cities like Melbourne and Sydney.
Interest rates are low and they will remain lower in all likelihood. Again this is good for property development investment, home building as examples.
The other thing I would say is that there is an absence of disasters, no floods, no cyclones, no bushfires to date at least. All of these things, I think, converged around 2009, 2010 to create a negative view of the outlook for Australia. When you think about it we are 24 million people in charge of the resources of an entire continent, no other nation on the planet makes that claim, not even the Americans.
We’re a fortunate people, we have strong population growth, we have a low dollar, we have good products and services. We should be attracting record numbers of overseas visitors to Australia due to the low dollar, that’s got to be good for Queensland. There all these reasons why you should be positive about the future. My view is that you should focus on the positive and gear your business and your opportunities to those parts of the business that are expanding.