Australia's finance minister apparently didn't see what happened to Phil Gramm last summer when he declared that the US economic slowdown was "mental" and called Americans a "nation of whiners." The recession would disappear, said Ken Henry, if Australians would just buck up, Australia’s News Network reports. “Fundamentally what is driving weaker economic outcomes globally at the moment is fractured confidence,” Ken Henry said. “We can talk ourselves into worse outcomes; of course we can. People do; it wouldn’t be the first time.”
Henry says “dramatic action” taken by the world’s governments coupled with the steps taken domestically mean Australia “can indeed avoid a negative quarter of growth.” Estimates predict almost no job growth in Australia next year, although 225,000 people are expected to join the labor force. Without job creation, that influx of workers will push unemployment from 4.3% to 6.2%.