President of the Chamber of Commerce David Littleproud.
President of the Chamber of Commerce David Littleproud.

Euro crisis 'overplayed'

EUROPE may be experiencing an economic crisis, but Warwick Chamber of Commerce president David Littleproud says we have nothing to fear.

Although Australia has felt the pinch a little bit, he said our local economy was good and we should not be too worried.

"It's obviously a concern, what's happening in Europe, but I think we can overplay that a little bit," Mr Littleproud said.

"People can get caught up in the European crisis too much and I think they just need to turn the news off for a few months and get back to the daily grind in their jobs and they'll realise it's not as bad as they are saying on TV."

Mr Littleproud said the main concern with the Australian economy stemmed from a lack of trust within our own government circles.

"Consumer confidence is down in Australia," he said.

"And I think it's the lack of confidence in local government more so than international issues," he said.

"Industry disputes are of more concern than international worries."

With a local and state election looming, he said residents will have the power to exercise their democratic views and ultimately restore their confidence in the government.

He said this would help economic stability and keep the state on track, as well as at local levels.

Mr Littleproud said the Christmas period was a positive time for retailers.

"We've been hearing retailers have seen an uplift in trade and I think it will continue into the new year," he said.

"Household saving is at a high, people are choosing to save but they don't have the confidence to spend at the moment.

"People should be able to loosen their wallets in the new year but we do urge that people spend locally, it preserves and creates jobs," Mr Littleproud said.

He predicted the European saga would continue for a couple of years, and although times were tight last year in Australia, the signs were positive.

"We have a resilient and stable economy and with the number of businesses opening in 2011 and more to open in 2012, it indicates the economy is sound and although it has been tight, we've seen a stable growth pattern," he said.

"These are all reasons to feel confident in 2012."

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