Scott Morrison believes an upgrade of Australia's economic outlook by the International Monetary Fund is a vote of confidence in his economic plan.
In its latest world economic outlook, the IMF raised its forecast for Australian growth to 4.2 per cent in 2022 from 4.1 per cent previous, while slashing its global growth prediction to 3.6 per cent from 4.4 per cent.
"While they were downgrading global growth ... they upgraded growth for Australia, a vote of confidence in the economic plan," the prime minister told reporters in Adelaide on Wednesday.
But shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers said Australians were still being slugged by skyrocketing cost of living pressures.
"Hard-working families are being held back by pay that isn't keeping up with prices," he told AAP.
Still, backing the IMF's view, the Westpac-Melbourne Institute leading index - which indicates the likely pace of economic activity three to nine months into the future - in March rose to its highest level since May 2021.
It suggests the economy will grow comfortably above the long-term growth rate of 2.8 per cent.
Westpac chief economist Bill Evans is forecasting growth of around 5.5 per cent in 2022, driven by the rapid recovery in household spending.
Separately, falling petrol prices have given a further lift to consumer confidence, supporting the recovery in spending to some degree.
The ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer confidence index rose 2.3 per cent in the past week to 96.8, its highest level since March 6.
However, an index below 100 indicates pessimists still outweigh optimists.
In a mirror image, household inflation expectations dropped by 0.5 percentage points to 5.3 per cent, its lowest level since March 6 as petrol prices declined for a fourth straight week.
"Oil prices have risen more than 10 per cent from the low at the beginning of last week, so it's not clear if there is much more room for confidence to be boosted by lower petrol prices," ANZ head of Australian economics David Plank said.
The Australian Institute of Petroleum said the national average for petrol prices fell by a further eight cents in the past week to 166.3 cents a litre, continuing a sharp decline from above $2 a litre.
This reflects in part the federal government's temporary halving of fuel excise in last month's budget.
Still, cost of living pressures remain more broadly in the economy with next week's inflation figures expected to show a sharp rise.
In the minutes of the Reserve Bank of Australia's April board meeting it warned that rising inflation may have brought forward the timing of an increase in the cash rate.
It expects measures of underlying inflation in the March quarter to be more than three per cent - above its two to three per cent target.
But it indicated it still wants to see the consumer price index for the March quarter due on April 27 and the wage price index for the same period on May 18.
Mr Evans expects the RBA to raise the cash rate by 0.15 per cent at the June board meeting to 0.25 per cent.
He then predicts 0.25 per cent increases at most subsequent meetings in 2022 reaching 1.25 per cent at the end of the year.
Meanwhile, the National Skills Commission confirmed skilled job advertisements posted on the internet rose 3.7 per cent in March, to be 24.1 per cent higher than a year earlier.
Job ads rose for all eight occupational groups monitored by the commission and increased in every state and territory in the month.
Australian Associated Press