Howard shines a light on a bungled budget

Howard and Costello were criticised when they delivered their harsh first budget, but the RBA's rate-cutting spree and the union movement's blunders helped to buoy public sentiment. Hockey and Abbott have had no such luck.

Following the good news on Monday that the ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer confidence index had rebounded to pre-budget levels, on Wednesday we also saw US consumer confidence hit its highest level since October 2007.

Happy days. It's almost as if the GFC never happened.

Well, not quite. Behind the buoyant ANZ-Roy Morgan figures is the darker fact that Australian sentiment is still at pretty gloomy levels by historical standards.

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