UPDATE 1.20pm: Consumer sentiment is showing some "green shoots", says Wesfarmers chief executive Richard Goyder.
"I think there are some green shoots on consumer confidence in Australia," Mr Goyder told an Australian Institute of Company Directors luncheon in Melbourne today.
Mr Goyder noted recent interest interest rate cuts and commentary that there may be another one forthcoming.
"I think that has been helpful," he said.
Mr Goyder also said there had been a lack of bad news for a while, especially on the international front.
"And I do think that 'flat' is the new 'up'. People are looking at their superannuation funds and saying at least it's not going down. That's not so bad as well."
Mr Goyder said he did not think that circumstances had got any worse other than in the resources sector, where it was materially worse at the moment.
He said it appeared that sometimes Australians lost sight of how fortunate this country is.
Wesfarmers shares closed up 21 cents at $35.12 in a slightly firmer market.