AUSTRALIANS’ OPINIONS varied considerably to some politicians’ views on the economy according to one of the most thorough population measures undertaken.

This is the Allianz-Newspoll two-monthly Future Optimism Index.
In the latest survey report released this week, Allianz Australia managing director Terry Towell said: “For most Australians, regardless of gender, age, or state of residence, optimism about the future of the economy fell substantially over the course of 2011.
“And, as a whole, Australians have entered 2012 much in the same vein, with some groups even less optimistic than the low points reached last year.”
A previous report showed Australians’ optimism about the future of the economy hit a 2011 low in May, with the Optimism Index falling from 14 to 9, reaching a level less than half the Index level of 20 achieved when the survey began in November 2010.
This might have reflected the aftermath of the summer of natural disasters, exacerbated by global economic uncertainties, Mr Towell said.
“After bumping around at relatively low levels over the second half of 2011, Australians’ optimism about the economy has started 2012 on a low, with the Optimism Index falling back to only 8.
“When looking into the results in more detail, there have been some significant changes in sentiment among different groups in the community and those living in particular states.
“For instance, since mid-2011, optimism about the economy has fallen significantly among Labor voters, men, and those living in NSW, Victoria and South Australia.
The fall in optimism about the economy is most apparent in Victoria, where the Index has collapsed from 18 in June 2011, to only 3 in January 2012 . However, optimism has returned to near-survey high in WA.”
Mr Towell felt that the ongoing uncertainty about the global economy being caused by the European sovereign debt crisis and the drawn-out recovery in the US economy was contributing to a continuing lack of optimism among Australians about the future of the local economy.

Source: Insurance News Australia

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