AUSTRALIA'S budget surplus has evaporated and its mining investment boom has only two years to run, according to Deloitte Access Economics.
The forecast marks a watershed in assessments of Australia's prospects, implying in the words of this morning's Access publication: ''The strong bit of Australia's two-speed economy won't stay strong for more than another two years or so''.
Deloitte Access Economics is Australia's leading private-sector budget forecaster, set up by former Treasury economists in 1988 to provide services to both sides of politics.
Its report says the mining investment boom will slow more sharply than expected. ''Mining companies are making it clear the current spike in investment is due to decisions taken a while back, whereas we are getting few new mining mega-projects across the line,'' it says.
Access stresses its forecast does not present an immediate threat to Australia's economic outlook but it comes after Labor's narrow byelection win in Melbourne in a state poll the Coalition did not contest, further complicating the task of next year's pre-election budget.
Read more at Brisbanetimes.com.au