Fears over the economy haven't dampened Australians' optimism toward their own finances.
Three-quarters of Australian households have a positive outlook for their own financial future this year, according to ING Direct's Financial Wellbeing Index.
Australians believe cautious spending and an increased saving rate will improve their finances over 2012, while only 22% expect to be worse off financially by the end of the year.
The optimism is underpinned by the fact that, in spite of a turbulent year for the economy, 65% of households either improved their financial situation in 2011 or were able to hold their finances steady.
Respondents tipped increased savings and reduced spending as key to shoring up their financial position last year, and showed a continued appetite toward deleveraging debt.
The news wasn't good for all households, however. One in three households said their finances had taken a hit in 2011, and more than half of low income earners said their financial position deteriorated last year. Thirty-five per cent of households also hold fears for the economy in 2012, saying they expect the Australian economy to decline.
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