Treasurer worried about the drought

Two forecasts on Australia's economy have predicted strong growth in 2002 and 2003, but the Federal Treasurer is still concerned. Mr Costello sees the drought in Australia and the weakness of the international markets as the main threats to the domestic economy. He said yesterday that the poor seasonal conditions in the rural sector, particularly in New South Wales, will affect production.

The Economist ran a poll which tipped Australia to have the world's fastest-growing economy this year and next, while Consensus Economics has also predicted Australia will have the fastest growth of any industrialised country this year and the second fastest in 2003.