Joe Hockey looks set to take over the purse strings of Australia's $1.5 trillion economy at the weekend, with the coalition expected to seize power at the election.
But the shadow treasurer will face tough challenges as the economy continues to transition from ebbing mining investment to broader based growth to sectors like home building.
This week's national accounts showed the economy growing at annual sub-trend pace of 2.6 per cent, below the three per cent mark that is needed to keep employment growing.
Even so, Australia has completed an unprecedented 22 years of continuous economic expansion, outpacing other major economies that are still feeling the aftershocks of the 2008-2009 global financial crisis.
It retains a triple-A rating from the world's three major credit rating agencies, something only seven other countries enjoy.
"But ... this is no time to rest on laurels because global economic circumstances are changing," Prime Minister Kevin Rudd told the National Press Club on Thursday, the penultimate day of a gruelling five-week election campaign.
"We cannot afford to simply have all our eggs in one basket for the future and we must diversify our economic base."
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) this week provided a more upbeat appraisal of the world's major economies, but warned "a sustainable recovery is not yet firmly established and important risks remain".
Growth in China - Australia's number one trading partner - also appears to have passed a trough.
But senior OECD official Mario Pezzini says China is dealing with "very complex and difficult problems" to maintain sustainable growth.
"There are a series of internal issues to be addressed and if they don't, then not tomorrow, but in the mid-term, they know that they will face serious problems," he told AAP this week in Canberra.
Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) governor Glenn Stevens believes Australia's sluggish growth pace will continue in the near term as the economy adjusts to lower mining investment.
The central bank left the cash rate unchanged at Tuesday's monthly board meeting, having cut it to an all-time low of 2.5 per cent in August.
Financial markets see a 50/50 chance of another cut by the RBA by early next year.
But Opposition Leader Tony Abbott is confident a coalition government can help lift the economy.
It will scrap the mining and carbon taxes, cut red tape costs by $1 billion a year, build better roads and bring the industrial relations pendulum back to the "sensible centre".
"Lower taxes, less red tape, and more incentives to work harder and smarter are the key to a stronger economy and better services," Mr Abbott said in his speech to the National Press Club on Monday.
However, the coalition is more vague on when it will bring the budget back to surplus compared to the 2010 election when it believes it could be done quickly.
Under Labor, Treasury is forecasting a $4.2 billion surplus in 2016/17, now four years later than former Labor treasurer Wayne Swan had predicted in 2010.
Treasurer Chris Bowen says returning to a surplus sooner "would be a hammer blow to the economy".
The coalition belatedly in the election campaign detailed how it would pay for its policies, promising that will result in a $6 billion budget improvement over the next four years.
Hockey concedes it is not a huge change.
"But we're turning the direction around from Labor, which is increasing debt and deficit, to ourselves who are starting to pay it off," he told ABC television on Thursday.
Still, economists expect the economy will gain a boost, albeit probably temporary, through improved business and consumer confidence with the election out of the way."Business confidence has consistently improved after coalition electoral victories, and the impending election has routinely been cited as a reason for the lacklustre performance of sentiment over 2013," Macquarie Research senior economist Brian Redican said in a note to clients.