The Courier-Mail

CHEERS! GLASS NOW HALF FULL

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AT long last it seems as though average Australian­s are emerging from a state of “determined pessimism” (as the Reserve Bank boss describes it) and starting to think “glass half full” (no longer half empty) when it comes to the economy and their wellbeing.

As regular readers would know, we’ve been concerned about the negativity of Australian­s who have tended to see us as closer to Greece than the economic miracle that we are. Yes, we can always do better, but we’ve had it pretty good for a long time.

No wonder the Reserve Bank kept interest rates on hold last week. There’s no need for a cut now or in the foreseeabl­e, and there is every likelihood the next move in rates will be up. Why?

Consumers are getting more active, reflected in solid rises in consumer confidence and retail sales.

Business confidence and investment is improving on the back of strong housing constructi­on.

The wealth of average Australian­s has grown strongly thanks to good superannua­tion returns and rises in house values.

The Australian dollar is down to a level where the RBA is more comfortabl­e, which is good for exporters.

The Federal Budget is looking conservati­ve (and easily achievable, or better) because of the strong retail sales and because iron ore prices (despite the general fall in commodity prices) are holding above the budget forecast.

On top of all this, we haven’t had an economic recession in 25 years.

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