With 2013 coming to an end, it’s interesting to look back over the last 12 months and see how many crises we survived and how many of the things we worried about didn’t occur…
The much talked about end of the mining boom didn’t really dampen our economy. The US didn’t fall off the fiscal cliff or default on its debt. The economic troubles in Europe, which were a major focus for many 12 months ago, didn’t bring the world’s financial system to its knees. And China did not hard land despite reports of “ghost cities” littering the country.
In fact what did happen was mostly positive:
Over the year the US economy turned around, their manufacturing picked up and they perfected a way to economically extract more oil out of the ground through fracking. The European economies improved, as did China’s and this synchronised world economic growth was good for Australia
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Our economy performed reasonably well (despite having a turbulent political year and enduring 3 prime ministers) and our property markets didn’t collapse as some doomsayers predicted.
That’s right the real estate bubble didn’t burst like the “bubblers” predicted. Believe it or not – there was already talk of an Australian property bubble at the beginning of the year, however our property and share markets finished the year in much better shape than they started.
Even better news…
It looks like 2014 will be another great year, and while no doubt the media will find an assortment of negative messages to scare us a little, there’s plenty of good news out there – you just have to look for it.
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In the spirit of optimism, here are 17 things you should feel good about.
- Swiss Banking giant Credit Suisse reported that Australians have the highest a median net worth in the world – $219,500 per person, with average household wealth having grown an incredible 13% a year since 2000.
- The International Monetary Fund reported that Australia is now the world’s 12th largest economy, steadily moving its way up the list and punching well above its weight for a nation of 23 million people.
- Australia’s population grew by 407,000 people last year. That means we’re growing at around 1.8% per anumm. This is faster than almost every other developed nation and means our population will grow by another 10% in the next 5 years
- 94% of Australians who want a job are gainfully employed.
- Interest rates are low, housing affordability is still the best for a decade, consumer sentiment is strong, auction clearances firmed up over the year and over the last year real estate prices recovered most of the ground they lost in 2011 and 2012. And it looks like 2014 will be another great year for property.
- The average Australian household budget is in good shape with personal savings rate high, credit card debt low and many mortgage holders well ahead in their loan repayments.
- Biomedical gerontologist Aubrey de Grey thinks the first person to live to see their 150th birthday is already born. Medical technology is awesome.
- A cancer-stricken man from Eritrea received an artificially grown trachea derived from his own cells. More awesome medical technology at work.
- Part of the reason our health system is a money pit is because we are living much longer than previously expected. I can think of worse problems.
- If you’re reading this article, you’re part of the 30% of the world with Internet access. 70% of the planet would love to be in your shoes.
- Life expectancy for someone born today is eight years longer than someone born in 1960.
- Ten years ago, mobile phone technology consisted of a calculator and game called Snake. Today you can watch full-length movies, bank on line and get driving directions on a phone half the size and a fraction of the price.
- Almost all news on the Internet is free.
- You had to be rich to get on an airplane in 1950; today almost every Australian can afford to fly.
- In the U.S. and Europe, death by stroke has fallen 70% since the 1950s.
- In the early 1970s, an influential study predicted the world would exhaust all known supplies of oil and natural gas by 1992. “End of the world” predictions are nothing new.
- Around 0.3% of the world’s population live in Australia. Odds are, you’re one of them.
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