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Phillip Coorey
April 20, 2009 – 3:51PM

Prime Minster Kevin Rudd today conceded that Australia will fall into recession.

At a jobs forum in Adelaide’s northern suburbs, he said a recession was now “inevitable”.

The Government has spent $52 billion on two separate stimulus packages trying to stave off a recession, which is technically defined as two successive quarters of negative growth.

The December quarter was negative and economists have long been saying the nation was as good as in a recession.

The Government will continue to argue circumstances would be even worse had it not been for the stimulus packages.

Last week, Treasurer Wayne Swan said forecasts in the February mini-budget would have been “substantially worse” after China’s growth for the year to March slumped to 6.1 per cent.

This weekend, the International Monetary Fund will release another world economic outlook, its third this calendar year, and Mr Swan predicted it would be the gloomiest yet.

“With the OECD and World Bank having revised down their forecasts in recent weeks, it would be a surprise if the IMF did not follow suit,” Mr Swan said in his weekly economic note yesterday.

Phillip Coorey is the Herald’s Chief Political Correspondent.

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