Borrowers feeling less anxious, but still fretting over cost of living

by AB10 Jul 2013

Australians’ sense of wellbeing increased over the past three months, despite ‘softening’ economic conditions, according to NAB’s Australian Wellbeing Index for Q1.

In the same period, consumer anxiety fell 0.3 points to 6 points in Q2, indicating moderate levels of anxiety for Australians.

 “This research indicates that Australians measure their quality of life and anxiety-levels on broader terms than just national economic performance,” says Dean Pearson, head of industry economics at NAB.

Those who demonstrate the highest levels of wellbeing are those:

  • earning in excess of $100,000;
  • in professional employment;
  • who are well-educated
  • who are retired / married / with children / aged over 50

There has been a notable change in reported levels of wellbeing in the rural community as well, with wellbeing now higher than in capital cities.

“This change may be attributed, in part, to the lower Australian dollar and an improvement in seasonal conditions, particularly for grains and livestock, lifting confidence,” says Dean.

The cost of living is still the main concern for Australians (rated 6.9 out of 10), but less so than in Q1 (7.4 out of 10).

“While prices for tradable goods such as electronics and clothing have clearly fallen in recent years, some services such as utilities, insurance and health may have risen.”