The Australian fiscal deficit is forecast to rise to A$53.1 billion in 2009/2010, representing a 4.5% of GDP, the annual budget showed Tuesday. Further, this is expected to reach A$56 billion in 2010/2011, equivalent to 4.6% of GDP.

The budget forecast the economy to contract 0.5% in 2009/2010 before growing 2.25% in 2010/2011. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate is seen at 8.25% in 2009/2010.

The budget paper said the Government's investment in nation building infrastructure will support an average of around 15,000 jobs each year, at around 18,000 in 2011-12.

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