The nation’s overall wellbeing deteriorated over the past three months, while consumer anxiety rose slightly, according to NAB’s Australian Wellbeing Index.
Alan Oster, NAB chief economist, says while Australians are concerned about their ability to fund retirement and the cost of living, they continue to measure their quality of life and anxiety levels in broader terms
“Australians are reporting that their overall life satisfaction and happiness levels are unchanged, with 57.3% rating their happiness as high or very high – but they are worried about maintaining their lifestyle in financial terms,” he says.
Some of the report’s key findings include:
· The cost of living is the main cause of anxiety, with more than one-third (35.5%) of respondents rating their anxiety ‘high’ with regards to cost of living, up slightly from 34.1% in Q2
· They have become more anxious about their ability to fund their retirement, with around 27% of Australians expressing ‘high’ concern over their ability to fund their retirement in Q3, up from 22.6% in Q2
· A slight increase in concerns over job security, with 35.5% rating it as a medium or high concern
The biggest drop in wellbeing was among those living in Western Australia and males aged between 18-29, whose wellbeing measure fell to 5.9 in Q3 from 6.6 in Q2.
“The fading of the mining investment boom in WA appears to be front of mind for more Western Australians, who reported higher levels of anxiety. They now also have the lowest overall wellbeing nationally,” says Oster.
Australians who report the highest levels of wellbeing and the lowest levels of consumer anxiety are those:
· Living in rural towns or the bush
· Without children
· Living in a two-person household
· Who were retired
The NAB Quarterly Australian Wellbeing Index seeks to measure overall quality of life and the NAB Quarterly Consumer Anxiety Index tracks consumer anxiety about spending and savings.