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Soaring Aussie Sends Factory Orders to Austria, AWU’s Howes Says

The Australian currency’s sustained strength makes it cheaper to produce goods in Austria, home of the fastest-rising labor costs among developed European economies, than in Sydney, said Paul Howes of the Australian Workers Union.

The local dollar’s advance “has made it essentially impossible for any of our non-resource, trade-exposed sections of the economy to be profitable,” Howes, national secretary of the AWU, said in an interview in Sydney today. “When it’s now cheaper to manufacture in Europe and it’s cheaper to manufacture in North America, something has really gone wrong.”