Consumers upbeat despite 'negative' oppn talk: Wong
13/07/2012 - Finance minister Penny Wong is encouraged by the latest rise in consumer sentiment that comes despite the "disgracefully misleading and negative campaign" by the opposition leader Tony Abbott.
The Westpac-Melbourne Institute index of consumer sentiment rose by 3.7 per cent in July, and was seen as a delayed response to interest rate cuts in May and June by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA).
"While there can be some volatility in monthly figures, today's news is a reminder that the Gillard government's strict fiscal discipline has given the RBA room to cut interest rates, with the equivalent of five rate cuts since November last year helping to boost confidence," Wong said.
She said while global instability, structural change and the high Australian dollar are putting pressure on parts of our economy, Australians have every reason to be confident about the economy's underlying strength and resilience.
"Despite this, Tony Abbott seems determined to talk the economy down and try to undermine confidence," said Wong, who is acting treasurer while Wayne Swan is on an official trip to China.
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