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Household comfort report shows signs of recovery

Financial Planning  |  14/02/2018  |   5 min read

The latest Financial Comfort Report from ME Bank paints a pessimistic picture.

The annual survey of 1500 Australian household can be summarised with one anonymous quote - “Our debts and living costs have increased, but our income has stayed the same.”

While the country’s overall comfort levels have remained stagnant at 5.49 out of 10, there’s some collective light at the end of the tunnel. Diving deeper into the numbers reveals pockets of optimism and growth even as the broader outlook lags behind.

As CoreData point out in their analysis, “For the first time in five years the broad sentiment of Australians has moved from mildly negative – to mildly positive. The survey – which focused on a representative sample of all Australians and was conducted in the first week of January showed that 42.2% of Australian surveyed were optimistic for the year while only 13.7% were pessimistic.”

That being said, structural issues continue to dampen the economic outlook, and the associated consumer confidence. Some of the more notable findings from the report include:

  • While the number of jobs has grown and unemployment has fallen, rising living expenses have cancelled out any additional household comfort
  • The ability to pay bills on time has slipped, with around 16% of households struggling to make payments.
  • Over half of households are paying over 30% of their disposable household income towards rent or a mortgage.
  • The gap between rich and poor continues to grow, with better economic conditions not flowing to the most disadvantaged segments

 

You can download and read the full report from the ME Bank website.

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