Mixed messages on the economy this week: Bob Richards, providing context to the latest financial figures from Government, implies that the recession might have levelled out and that recovery is not too far off. But statistician Cordell Riley warns of 2,400 job cuts this year and that the slump will drag on. Mikaela Ian Pearman tested public sentiment.

Brian Perry, 39, student

‘It’s too early to tell because it seems like the real estate market is becoming more viable but job opportunities haven’t improved.’



Diana Antonition, 52, executive secretary

‘I have teenage kids and I’m finding it hard. They’re coming out of university, they’ve got degrees and there are no jobs for them. That’s the sad thing. I think next year we will see new developments. All we can do is be hopeful.’



Gloria Joynes, 80, retired

‘If we’re coming out, we’re coming out very, very slowly.’



Jenia Thompson, 31, business owner

‘As an owner of a retail business, I notice that it’s not getting any better. I don’t see any serious uptake in sales. I don’t see people coming in with more disposable income. People are still mentally in a recession frame of mind.’



Jamela Daniels, 33, business owner

‘With retail, it’s hard to say. I feel a recession is kind of a state of mind. I feel that people spend their money on what they want to spend it on. I think it’s a state of mind and it depends on the individual.’



Eugene Rayner, 72, retired accountant

‘No, because we’re not increasing our income. We haven’t been able to create new jobs. New jobs pay payroll tax. Job creation is difficult and it won’t happen overnight. It will probably be another three to four years before we turn it around.’