In the market for a boost to confidence

IT HAS been a major coup for Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Treasurer Wayne Swan to be able to claim yesterday that Australia is the best performing advanced economy over the past year.

So far we are the only developed country to avoid a recession in the world's major economic downturn. Therefore Rudd and Swan could be forgiven for feeling a bit smug.

Yesterday's GDP figures show the

Australian economy grew 0.6 per cent in the three months to June.

This result is better than expected. Market economists had earlier revised their forecasts downwards from 0.7 to 0.2 per cent.

The Coalition must be seething and will continue to play up the country's debt as the legacy of this Labor Government.

But thanks to the Labor Government's stimulus package the country has beaten the odds, and while the unemployment rate has risen it is nowhere near as high as first

forecasted, and a lot less than what is occurring in other countries.

The average punter on the street today can't complain they are suffering. In fact they are probably doing okay with the lowest interest rates in decades, cheaper petrol, and housing affordability for first home buyers.

None of these things will be scoffed at lightly by the voters.

If we had not had the stimulus packages Treasury has estimated GDP would have fallen by 1.3pc over the year to the June quarter.

The economy is growing and spending has risen. This result should make business and the markets feel a lot more confident into the future.

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