THE NEWS WRAP: Swan says economic outlook still strong despite “absurd” suggestions otherwise

Treasurer Wayne Swan has said that it is “absurd” to suggest that Australia’s economy has stopped growing, despite growing speculation that an interest rate cut is needed to boost growth.

 

Deutsche Bank has forecast a 13% drop in Australia’s terms of trade due to falling commodity prices and weakening Chinese demand. The bank said this could lead to the cash rate being as low as 2.5% by mid next year.

 

However, Swan dismissed concerns over Australia’s economic health, saying it was “disappointing” that some people chose to talk down the country’s fiscal position.

 

WTO scales back trade outlook

 

The World Trade Organisation has downgraded its global trade outlook for 2012 amid concerns over the eurozone debt crisis, as well as weak growth in the US and Chinese economies.

 

Global trade is set to increase by 2.5% this year, the WTO said, a drop on its previous forecast of 3.7%.

 

Next year’s growth is set to be stronger, at 4.5%, but this is down from the 5.6% from the WTO’s previous prediction.

 

Apple responds to maps critics

 

Apple has pledged that its mapping software will “improve” after being stung over rare criticism of one of its products.

 

The tech giant said it appreciated customer feedback over its maps service, which has attracted scathing reviews over inaccuracies, misplaced cities and missing landmarks.

 

Markets

 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 17.46 points, or 0.1%, to 13,579.47 on Friday. The Australian dollar was down to US104.49 cents.

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