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Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens has signalled interest rates are on their way back up with mortgage rates likely to edge up between half and a full percentage point.

Giving evidence to the House of Representatives economics committee in Canberra, Mr Stevens said the RBA’s focus continued to be on what mortgage rates were offered by commercial banks rather than on the Reserve’s official cash rate.

He said given the commercial banks had lifted rates over and above what the RBA had done, there was still about a half and a full percentage point to go before mortgage rates were back to what the Reserve would consider close to their long term average.

“There’s a little distance to go yet before I think you could characterise the setting of interest rates as normal or average,” he said.

The RBA surprised markets by leaving official rates on hold at its February meeting.

Mr Stevens said on top of the Reserve’s own lift in official rates, the commercial banks actions had effectively delivered three and a half interest rate rises to mortgages cases, and in the case of Westpac customers, four rate hikes.

He said one of the advantages of lifting rates as the RBA did in the last three months of 2009 was that it could hold rates in February and get a clearer picture of how the economy was travelling.

“You get that luxury when you can wait a little a bit further down the line,” he said.

Mr Stevens said Australia had performed much better than even the RBA had expected out of the global recession.

But he warned that meant the economy was now heading into an upswing stronger than otherwise would have been the case.

“With the economy having had only a mild downturn with begin the upswing with less spare capacity than would typically be the case after a recession,” he said.

“There’s less scope for robust demand growth without inflation starting to rise again down the track.

“Monetary policy must be careful not to overstay a very expansionary setting.”

Mr Stevens said the resources sector in particular was looking to grow quickly, with the terms of trade likely to head back to the record highs seen in 2008 this year.

He also highlighted the strength of Australia’s sovereign debt position, hosing down fears the country was carrying too much debt.

“Australia’s position is by any measure very strong indeed,” he said.

The governor also played down fears raised by Opposition finance spokesman Barnaby Joyce that Australia could default on its debts.

Mr Stevens said Australia had never defaulted before and there were no signs it would now.

“I very much doubt there ever will be,” he said. 

“Monetary policy must be careful not to overstay a very expansionary setting.”

Mr Stevens said the resources sector in particular was looking to grow quickly, with the terms of trade likely to head back to the record highs seen in 2008 this year.

He also highlighted the strength of Australia’s sovereign debt position, hosing down fears the country was carrying too much debt.

“Australia’s position is by any measure very strong indeed,” he said.

The governor also played down fears raised by Opposition finance spokesman Barnaby Joyce that Australia could default on its debts.

Mr Stevens said Australia had never defaulted before and there were no signs it would now.

“I very much doubt there ever will be,” he said.

Source www.thewest.com.au

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QANTAS will increase international airfares by up 5 per cent this week, offering further evidence that the recent run of exceptionally cheap air fares is ending.

In its first international fare increase since June last year, Qantas will raise first-class and business-class fares by 3 per cent on Friday. The increases will affect popular routes such as Britain, Europe, Singapore and Hong Kong but not the hotly contested routes to the US, reports The Australian.

Premium economy and economy tickets will rise by 5 per cent, reflecting the relative strength of the leisure markets as travellers responded to the cheaper airfares and a high Australian dollar. These increases apply to wider range of destinations that include North America.

“Qantas reviews pricing continuously on all routes, taking into account demand and capacity, competitor actions and business performance,” a Qantas spokeswoman said.

Qantas has already been successful in raising domestic airfares by 5-10 per cent and desperately needs to get international fares up to improve yields, which in October were 24 per cent down on the previous year.

Qantas will test the water to see whether the increases affect passenger loads and whether competitors match them.

But even if the new fares stick, increased competition and continuing market softness is unlikely to see ticket prices return to previous high levels any time soon.

Read the full report in The Australian.

Source  :  www.news.com.au

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perth_nightStrategically located in relation to South East Asia, Europe and Africa, Perth Airport is Australia’s fourth largest airport in terms of passenger traffic and is the winner of the (AAAustralian Airports Association A) award for Australian Major Airport of the Year for 2003 and 2004.

Only 12 kilometres from the heart of Perth, the capital of Western Australia, the airport is part of a 2,105 hectare estate with sufficient capacity to expand and meet the projected commercial aviation demand of the 21st century.

Of the 2,105 hectares, over 700 hectares is available for a wide range of non-aviation property development, providing the potential for the airport to become a major commercial and industrial centre.

Westralia Airports Corporation (WAC) also works closely with the tourism industry to develop tourism in Western Australia and is a member of the Perth Convention Bureau, the Pacific Asia Travel Association and is a gold member of the Tourism Council of Western Australia.

WAC is closely involved with Tourism WA in promoting the State as an attractive destination for overseas visitors, with a strong focus on working with airlines to increase the number of passengers travelling to Western Australia.

Perth Airport is the premier international, domestic and regional gateway to this exciting State for commercial aircraft, freight and passengers, and plays an important role in Western Australia’s economy.

Economic Benefits of Perth Airport

In 2003, Economic Research Associates Pty Ltd studied the economic significance of Perth Airport to Western Australia’s economy. The report estimated that all airport associated activities generated approximately $2.2 billion a year, or 3% of the Gross State Product
(GSP) for Western Australia.

Direct employment is estimated at 5,960 jobs, with $342 million in direct salaries and wages. In total, Perth Airport provides around 16,800 jobs for Western Australians, generating approximately $850 million in wages.

Perth Airport Facilities

Perth Airport’s primary aviation facilities include:

•A two building with nine operational aircraft barunway system able to handle both existing and planned intercontinental commercial aircraft
•An International Terminal ys, five of which have aerobridges
•A with three freighter positionMulti-User Domestic Terminal complexs and a total of 22 operational aircraft bays, five of which have aerobridges
•Air freight, aviation fuel and in-flight catering facilities
•Air traffic control facilities
•24-hour rescue and fire fighting facilities.
Terminals at Perth Airport

Terminal 1 (International) is located on the eastern side of the main runway and is positioned between this runway and a future wide-spaced parallel runway.

The Domestic Terminals are located on the western side of the airfield. Qantas operates Terminal 2, where Qantas, QantasLink and Jetstar domestic services arrive and depart.

Adjacent to Terminal 2 is the Westralia Airports Corporation (WAC) operated Terminal 3. The airlines operating from Terminal 3 are Alliance Airlines, OzJet, Skywest Airlines, Virgin Blue.

Perth Airport also encompasses several smaller terminal operations, which provide charter services and services to specific regional areas in Western Australia.

http://www.perthairport.com

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