As 2014 begins, it's easier to be optimistic.
In the United States, economic growth is set to rise from under two per cent to almost 3 per cent, with a million jobs created in the last year.
China's growth is moderating but likely to remain over 7 per cent.
Even the Eurozone is finally growing again.
Of course, the recovery remains fragile.
The US taper will need deft management.
Around the world, over 300 million young people are neither working nor studying and the global economy needs 30 million more jobs just to restore employment levels from before the Global Financial Crisis.
The challenge, everywhere, is to promote sustainable, private sector-led growth and employment – and to avoid government-knows-best action for action's sake.
It's worth noting – if only to remind ourselves of the good that can be done – that in the past few decades, more has been achieved to reduce poverty than in any other period in history.
In countries such as China, India and Indonesia many hundreds of millions have been lifted from subsistence to the middle class.
Despite the Crisis, worldwide, income per person is still up by over 60 per cent in the past decade.
The global middle class is growing from 1.8 billion now to over 3 billion in 10 years' time.
This is a slightly edited version of Tony Abbott's speech last week to the World Economic Forum at Davos.
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