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AAP

2013-01-25

When people crack open a tinny on Australia Day, it could be a rosy economy that they're toasting.

The Westpac Australia Day Report - launched on Friday - shows more than two thirds of Australians (67 per cent) are positive about the national economy, while two thirds of those (66 per cent) expect this to continue.

Respondents believed the resources industry, plus the growing strength of Asian markets, were behind the strong economy.

People were also upbeat about their own finances - with 67 per cent looking forward to a positive personal situation this financial year.

Westpac retail and business banking general manager Gai McGrath said she was not surprised by the positive attitude.

"This optimism is not surprising considering our resilient economy," she said.

"Australians are known for their positive attitude and feel they can handle anything thrown their way, however they also understand there is more they could be doing to make their money work harder for them."

In recent years, people had become more cautious about their saving habits, Ms McGrath said.

"While the majority of people had a lot of optimism about the Australian economy and their own personal finances, they also said their top goal for this year was to save more," she said.

"People said they want to get in control of their budget - so they're looking at putting saving into action."

However, she added Australians still had some way to go in taking charge of their superannuation.

People were also asked what they think defines an Australian, with the top three factors being mateship (16 per cent), friendliness (15 per cent), and being laid back (14 per cent).

The Australia Day Report was conducted by research company CoreData, on behalf of Westpac, and included 1,000 respondents surveyed from December 12-19 last year.

Caroline Smith