By Peter Switzer

Seriously, what are we whingeing about? The economy isn’t as bad as we think. How it affects us, in the hip pocket, is actually quite positive. So, it’s not what’s to blame but who’s to blame.

Obviously, I have to round up the usual suspects – the Abbott Government and the Reserve Bank (RBA) – as our two chief policymakers and they have to cop the finger pointing.

After all, the banks are lending, interest rates are low, the dollar has fallen, petrol prices have started rising again but they are still lower than they were, the stock market is up around 10% for the year-to-date and our super funds are surging. So why are we so negative?

Unemployment is the worry at 6.3%, but it did fall from 6.4% in February when pundits thought it might rise. Against that, the ANZ job ads numbers have risen nine months in a row!

That says employers are actually hiring. By the way, like the stock market, this is a forward indicator, while the jobs number is a lagged indicator reflecting what was wrong at least six months ago.

I don’t know if you know this (your favourite media outlet might have thought the PM eating a raw onion was more important), but mining jobs were down 50,000 over the year to February. However, over the three months to February, 76,000 jobs were created but over the year, 186,000 showed up!

By the way, despite all our handwringing about mining, the Department of Industry says resource and energy exports will rise 6.2% to $189.95 billion next financial year, after an 8.2% fall this financial year. And the five-year outlook tips a 6% per annum rise for the sector, which should be OK for the miners.

The picture is looking better and I haven’t even mentioned how our houses have become 8 per cent more valuable over the year to January. While first homebuyers would be despondent, at least they can pressure their wealthier parents for support or a much longer stay at home with the oldies!

By the way, if you live in Sydney, home prices are up a whopping 13%!

But that’s not all, the SAS NATSEM household budget report showed our standard of living rose 0.7% in the December quarter and our income went up 0.8%.

More importantly, over the year, the average household is $1000 better off, while over the past five years the calculated gain to our bottom lines is $4000! And by the way, the social policy number-crunchers say rate cuts do work, with under 25s said to be $116 a year better off because of lower interest rates, while over 25s are $318 wealthier. That said, over 65s are $29 a year worse off.

Despite this plethora of good news, business and consumer confidence is heading in the wrong direction and that’s why the RBA (with its delayed rate cut mentality) and the Abbott Government (with its unprofessional selling of the Budget along with the nincompoops in the Senate) have created negativity in the community.

It’s timely that Tony Abbott’s polls start to improve as he starts talking about a less draconian Budget ahead. The debt doomsday talk was over-egged and as the possibility of rising unemployment makes 2016 (an election year) look scarier (if jobs don’t start showing up soon), the PM knows he has to spread positivity or he’s DEAD.

The test for the RBA will be the first Tuesday in April. Financial markets are tipping a 90% chance of a rate cut in May. If the Big Bank follows the script, leaving out an April rise, then they really stand accused of being a big contributor to what’s wrong with consumers and business.

I do think we’re not really whingers but we are too conservative. If our leaders on both sides of politics were better at their job, this country of ours would be on a nice economic roll.

I really hope the stock market’s forward view on the economy and profits is absolutely on the money.