Full text: Borrowing and business in Australia

greater part of the period; and that the interval since the return 
to gold has been too short for statistical analysis of a satisfactory 
Nevertheless the statistics of international trade, despite the 
gaps in our knowledge of the situation, afford a profoundly 
interesting study for the decade and a half following 1914. For 
the first two years of war the recent excess of imports was 
maintained. But, after 1916, a great change takes place and an 
sxcess of exports develops and attains phenomenal dimensions, 
rising to a climax of £50 millions in the fiscal year 1919-20. 
Then, once again, an abrupt change-over occurs ; and, with the 
exception of the year of crisis, 1921-2, and the year of partial 
recovery, 1924-5, imports once more dominate the position. 
Nothing but an analysis of the terms of trade will serve to reveal 
the true inwardness of the situation, or show how closely all 
these events, underneath their apparently chaotic surface 
surrents, reveal the effects of the main stream of capital imports. 
Thus, once more, the normality of the trade situation is exposed ; 
and it becomes possible to range the experiences of this latest 
borrowing cycle in line with those of previous similar episodes. 
By reason of the explanations already given in the foregoing 
pages, no extensive comment on the table which now follows 
will be necessary. The co-operation of factors unusually 
favourable to Australia in the matter of trade, combined with 
the orthodox effects of the borrowing cycle, are seen to have 
given Australia an increased advantage until 1921. But, 
afterwards, the normal transition from the first to the second 
phase of the cycle, together with the extraordinary recession in 
world business, rapidly dissipated this advantage; and the 
history of the years, until at least the end of 1929, is one of 
growing adversity in trade.

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