Consumer confidence is up, small businesses are less pessimistic and foreign investment into Australia is blossoming.
There’s a growing sense of confidence about where the economy is heading, according to Treasurer Joe Hockey.
Consumer confidence has improved, small businesses are less pessimistic and foreigners are happy to pump even more money into Australia.
The latest ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer confidence reading rose 1.4 per cent in the past week to sit around its long run average.
The treasurer says there are good signs that Australian consumers are getting on with life.
“They are starting to get more confident about the way the economy is heading,” Mr Hockey told parliament on Tuesday.
Commonwealth Securities chief economist Craig James thinks the fact that confidence rose at a time of rising petrol prices and a falling local dollar is “quite encouraging”.
A separate survey by software provider MYOB found there were fewer small businesses expecting a decline in revenue fall than at any other time in the last five years.
“Although … running a small business in the current economic environment is not easy, many local operators are beginning to see their hard work pay dividends,” MYOB boss Tim Reed said.
Foreign investors are also happy to pump trillions of dollars into the Australian economy, either to boost businesses directly or as part of a financial portfolio.
Australia attracted $115 billion in new direct foreign investment into businesses in 2013.
“Without foreign investment, our productive capacity, employment levels and income would be significantly lower,” Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb told parliament.
That year, with a total of $630 million of direct investment, Australia was the ninth largest destination of global foreign direct investment.
Taken together with $1.4 trillion of portfolio investment, as well as loans, bank deposits and trade credits, the grand total of investment in 2013 was $2.5 trillion.
Mr Robb said in his inaugural annual investment statement that Australia was indeed “open for business”.
But his Labor counterpart Penny Wong said slogans and rhetoric are no substitute for action.
Senator Wong described his statement as little more than a “sheaf of talking points” that failed to outline a coherent strategy.