David Cameron has pledged to use the "global drama" of the Olympics and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee to help get Britain back on track.
In his New Year message, the Prime Minister admitted that 2012 would be "difficult" as the economy struggles and household finances are squeezed. But he insisted the coalition "got" the problems and would "do more" to help people through them.
"This will be the year Britain sees the world and the world sees Britain," Mr Cameron said. "It must be the year we go for it - the year the coalition government I lead does everything it takes to get our country up to strength."
He continued: "The coming months will bring the global drama of the Olympics and the glory of the Diamond Jubilee. Cameras and TV channels around the planet will be recording these magnificent events. It gives us an extraordinary incentive to look outward, look onwards and to look our best: to feel pride in who we are and what - even in these trying times - we can achieve."
The premier added: "Of course I know that there will be many people watching this who are worried about what else the year might bring.
"There are fears about jobs and paying the bills. The search for work has become difficult, particularly for young people. And rising prices have hit household budgets.
"I get that. We are taking action on both fronts. I know how difficult it will be to get through this. But I also know that we will."
Mr Cameron said the Government had "clear and strong plans" to bring down the deficit, which were giving "some protection from the worst of the debt storms now battering the eurozone".
"We have gained security for now - and because of that, we must be bold, confident and decisive about building the future," he said.
Paul Kenny, general secretary of the GMB union, said: "Cameron simply fails to recognise that the Government's strategy for an economic recovery is in tatters as living standards in the UK drop by 5.9%. Government action has cut UK GDP by 3.4% and killed the recovery under way when it took office."