The upcoming budget of the Australian government will focus on stimulating the economy and protecting jobs, Treasurer Wayne Swan said Wednesday. The government is due to unveil its budget on May 12.

One of the aims of this Budget is to continue that substantial fiscal or economic stimulus, but also to put in place, I think, the policy settings for the future that will enable us to take advantage of all of the opportunities that arise once the global economy begins to revive, Swan said in an interview with the Radio 2UE.

We're going to really reinforce the fundamentals in the economy, he added.

Elsewhere, Swan noted that headline inflation has moderated significantly and a further easing in inflationary pressures is expected.

Earlier in the day, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said the country's consumer price index rose 0.1% in the first quarter of 2009 from the fourth quarter of 2008. On an annual basis, it rose 2.5%.

He also said the economy is going to be dragged to recession as a result of global economic downturn. His remarks came a day after the Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Glenn Stevens said the economy is in recession, echoing the view expressed by the Prime Minister Kevin Rudd on Monday.

Moreover, the Treasurer said the International Monetary Fund's Global Financial Stability Report depicts a sobering picture of the ongoing challenges.

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