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Economists claim impact of Toyota departure not that bad

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The imminent demise of Australia’s car manufacturing sector will not have as devastating effect as many predict and will actually bring with it some benefits, according to some economists.

The Australian reports that economists believe these benefits will include cheaper cars and less expenditure in the form of government subsidies for struggling car makers.

And, according to Melbourne Institute economics fellow Mark Wooden, both Victoria and South Australia will survive the change and neither state will go into recession as a result of it.

"The (Toyota) closure will barely be noticed in Melbourne,” Wooden told the Australian.

"Adelaide is slightly more exposed, but the idea suddenly 45,000 workers will be permanently unemployed is ridiculous, given they can adapt their operations to supply other sectors in Australia or try to export to Asian manufacturers."

According to Fairfax columnist Ross Gittins, the expected number of jobs which will be lost with the death of the car makers is not as high as many expect, particularly where job losses are predicted as a result of flow on effects.

ANZ chief Mike Smith told the Australian, "the manufacturing industry in Australia is alive and kicking and will remain so while we still have good ideas."

"We may not be able to compete with the Vietnams and Thailands in making widgets, but with high-end widgets we can, and there are a lot of things we are good at."

Smith said that the Australian banking sector is very strong and added that "there are big opportunities afforded by the proximity to Asia, the resources sector is transitioning from construction to production and some of the agricultural outlook is impressive".

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