Australia is 'safe port in the storm' amid global recession worries: PM
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has labelled Australia's country's economy "the safe port in the storm" amid global trade tensions due to its policy predictability and openness to international investment.
World stocks hovered near four-week lows after Washington moved to impose new tariffs on European goods, fuelling fears about global growth and dousing risk appetite.
The latest US-European trade tensions added to fears over the standoff between Washington and Beijing, which has cast a shadow over global growth prospects.
Washington will enact 10 per cent tariffs on Airbus planes and 25 per cent duties on French wine, Scotch and Irish whiskies and cheese from across the continent as punishment for illegal EU subsidies to Airbus.
Earlier in the week, disappointing data on US manufacturing and the jobs market suggested the trade war with China had damaged the world's largest economy.
In a speech at the Lowy Institute foreign affairs think tank last night, Mr Morrison said global investors were confident in Australia.
He recounted a recent meeting with US-based investors in Australia while visiting New York for the United Nations General Assembly.
"Their constant message was, 'Australia, we trust you'. It's stable, safe, we share values, it's predictable," Mr Morrison said.
"We are the safe port in the storm, and in a global economy that looks like the one we're currently in, I'm glad we're us."
Nine Finance Editor Ross Greenwood says strong iron ore prices should shelter the Australian economy from effects of any global recession.
"Australia is slightly immune to the idea of recession. We haven't had one in 27 years, it's not likely we are going into one any time soon," he told Today.
But he said record low interest rates which fell below 1 per cent for the first time this week are a concern.
"Employers are not investing massive amounts, they are not trying to build new things. When you are not doing that you've got a defensive style of economy, both here, in Europe and the United States."