Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan is determined to have a "positive debate" about the economy in the 2013 election year.

Mr Swan will tell a financial services forum in New York on Saturday (AEDT) that "endless pessimism" is a risk to the global recovery, "just as it weighs on business and consumer sentiment in Australia's economy".

"I am determined to have a positive debate in Australia in 2013 about how we lock in the gains we've made in the last five years, and set our economy and our community up for the next five years," the treasurer says, adding "the future of our region is remarkably bright".

Mr Swan's vow comes after the government and opposition appeared to blame each other for weak jobs data released on Thursday.

Acting Employment Minister Kate Ellis took the chance to score a political point by blaming the rise in the national unemployment rate on Queensland's conservative government, while Opposition Leader Tony Abbott linked the numbers to Labor's decision to back away from a budget surplus in 2012/13.

Mr Swan says turbulence in the world economy during the second half of 2012 forced Australia to write down in just four months the revenue losses it had expected over a full year.

Despite this, the government is still delivering one of the biggest fiscal consolidations in Australia's history.

"We'll continue our fiscal discipline despite the big revenue write-downs which have made a surplus unlikely this year," the treasurer says.

While the government's previously promised surplus is not likely to eventuate in 2012/13, the budget outcome will have "no bearing at all on our determination to make room for our medium-term priorities like the Gonski education reforms and the National Disability Insurance Scheme", Mr Swan says.

He reiterates that "savage cuts" to public spending would be detrimental to the economy.

"We'll keep doing what's right for our economy, protecting the jobs and livelihoods of the most vulnerable in our community, while making room for our priorities and investing for the nation's future," Mr Swan says.

The government plans to make a "thorough assessment" of its budget in early 2013, "methodically working through the facts to ensure we continue to manage the economy responsibly and support employment".

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