Queensland economy could be better than we think

Asking people whether the economy is strong or weak is fraught because what you get is not a measure of how the economy is going, but a measure of how they think it is going. It is a measure of confidence, not reality. And even that is fraught because that confidence will be mediated by what is going on in their life.

So we polled two different economies - the state economy, and the personal one - and yes, there was a difference between them.

On balance we are slightly pessimistic about the state economy, but only slightly - minus 3 per cent when netting the 30 per cent who thought it was strong against the 33 per cent who thought it was weak.

State_Finances Bob Katter's Australian Party Greens Labor Liberal National Party Total
Very strong 0% 5% 5% 1% 3%
Strong 19% 30% 47% 14% 27%
Neither strong nor weak 33% 46% 26% 33% 32%
Weak 33% 16% 10% 36% 25%
Very weak 5% 0% 5% 14% 8%
Unsure 10% 3% 6% 3% 5%
Grand Total 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
Total strong 19% 35% 52% 14% 30%
Total weak 38% 16% 16% 50% 33%
Net strong -19% 19% 36% -35% -3%

 One way of reading these figures is that 62 per cent of respondents thought the economy was OK to strong by adding those 32 per cent who were neutral to the 30 per cent who thought it was strong. Added to this, those who think it is weak are much more likely to think that it is "weak", rather than "very weak".

This underlines the problems for Campbell Newman in selling an austerity program. Only 8 per cent are likely to be strongly motivated by fears about the economy.

There is also a partisan element to assessments of the strength of the economy. As you can see here 50 per cent of LNP supporters think the economy is weak, while 52 per cent of Labor voters think it is strong.

Our polling of personal finances show that our respondents are faring better than they think the economy as a whole is.

Personal_Finances Bob Katter's Australian Party Greens Labor Liberal National Party Total
Very strong 0% 14% 7% 5% 6%
Strong 15% 11% 32% 23% 25%
Neither strong nor weak 50% 49% 41% 45% 45%
Weak 25% 9% 13% 18% 16%
Very weak 10% 14% 4% 8% 7%
Unsure 0% 3% 3% 1% 2%
Grand Total 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
Total strong 15% 26% 39% 29% 31%
Total weak 35% 23% 17% 26% 22%
Net strong -20% 3% 22% 3%

9%

In terms of personal finances the on balance figure is 9 per cent, with LNP voters now positive with a 24 percentage point drop from the number who think the economy is weak (around half). In the other direction ALP voters are now 13 percentage points less likely to think the their personal finances are strong versus the states. 

Only BKAP voters tend to be consistent between state and personal.

Now, as the sum of personal finances is more or less the state economy, things are probably better than we think, and a corollary is that LNP and ALP voters probably assess the state economy through political, rather than personal, lenses.

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