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Do you believe everything the mainstream media tells you about the economic outlook and how you will be affected? If you do, you’re probably filled with doom and gloom about your personal and business prospects for 2014 and beyond. It’s no wonder when we see those pessimistic headlines on a daily basis.

Let’s look at it a little more dispassionately. Remember, we’re not trying to sell copies or increase viewing ratings here. Of course, we’d expect some expert forecasting to be coming from Treasury, but you have to read the fine print to see that not all is about how dire the economy is. Without exception, new Treasurers (consequence of last year’s Australian federal election) look for something dubious created by their predecessor so they can play up their inadequacies and omissions and put their own promises in a glowing light. However, there’s no doubt that Treasury has largely guessed there will be a $47 billion deficit, based on the $16.8 billion revenue shortfall identified by the Treasurer.

Just a thought: how good has Treasury been with their predictions in recent memory? And further to that, how much does it take for media tales of slower growth to become a self-fulfilling prophecy?

Of course Treasurers have to use the figures supplied to them by Treasury and to prepare us for any actions they feel compelled to make in the future. It wouldn’t do to make us too optimistic about the future in case it all turns to custard.

Treasury is suggesting that over the four year budget period, gross debt is likely to reach $460 billion in 2016-17. However, this estimate is calculated on growth. If Treasury’s old guess for a Labor treasurer of 3 per cent happens, then the numbers will be a great deal better and we will have been unnecessarily worried.

A recent article noted that many Australians have the mindset that our growth is fuelled by the mining sector and that future job losses are certain because construction jobs are ‘going to crash in the next four years’ due to the slowdown of investment. However, later in that particular news report, we are told that any losses will be ‘partially offset by an increase of nearly 40,000 resources operations jobs’. Which quote did the headline focus on?

The economy does not rely solely on the mining sector as media outlets would have us believe. What about the jobs that will be created in education, tourism and technology? What about the strengthening global economy? What about the Sensis Business Index and its December survey headline that stated ‘Biggest survey quarterly confidence jump in 20 years’? The report went on to say that perceptions of the economy are now at their best for three years and that confidence is evenly spread across the whole country. There’s something to boost your confidence in what you are doing and how you are doing it.

Here’s to an awesome New Year and beyond. Don’t allow yourself to be held back by an unnecessarily pessimistic media and their headlines. Have faith in your abilities and those of your team. Be courageous and live your life to the fullest, you are in the business of growing YOU and your business not selling newspapers. Here’s to you.

Check out the scientific evidence about the psychological effects of media news in the article attached below…

Why we worry: The Psychological Effects of TV News