Wayne Swan.
Wayne Swan.

Federal Budget surplus in doubt

THE much-touted Federal Budget surplus may be in doubt with tax revenue not keeping pace with Australia's economic recovery, a report by a leading economics authority revealed on Monday.

However, Prime Minister Julia Gillard remains positive about Australia's economic future, saying she was confident the surplus would still be delivered.

Forecaster Deloitte-Access Economics released its June business outlook on Monday, flagging the nation's economic position as a "global stand-out".

But the report said Australians were still seeing the financial situation as glass half-empty, with worries over a slowdown in China and continuing troubles in Europe the major causes of the gloom.

In Queensland, the report said that engineering work associated with the mining boom was the prime driver of state growth, but the high Australian dollar was still hurting regional areas dependent on tourism.

It said consumers in the Sunshine State were also spending more than the national average, but business spending, especially on capital works, was cancelling out that revenue.

"Queensland business confidence remains both modest and fragile - it's been a tough few years now, and most of the better news is geographically concentrated in the state's mining provinces rather than in the urban concentrations in Brisbane and the Gold Coast," the report reads.

While Treasurer Wayne Swan was not available to comment on Monday, his weekly Economic Note released on Sunday showed he was aware of the changes afoot.

"Yesterday's solutions won't make our economy sustainable beyond the mining boom or ensure the benefits are more fairly shared," he wrote.

Mr Swan wrote that past solutions would not work to fix the challenges now facing the economy and the government was working on new policies to "meet new opportunities".

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