NAB Quarterly Australian Consumer Anxiety Index – Q1 2015

Consumer anxiety rises again in Q1’15 after a short-lived improvement in the previous quarter, as concern over government policy overtakes cost of living as the single biggest cause of consumer stress. With overall anxiety increasing, consumers are cutting back on many “non-essentials”.

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Consumer anxiety rises again in Q1’15 after a short-lived improvement in the previous quarter, as concern over government policy overtakes cost of living as the single biggest cause of consumer stress. With overall anxiety increasing, consumers are cutting back on many “non-essentials”.

The NAB Consumer Anxiety Index rose to 61.8 points in Q1’15 (60.1 in Q4’14), with higher concern in all categories except health.

According to NAB Chief Economist Alan Oster: “Government policy is now the single biggest cause of anxiety for consumers, just ahead of cost of living, while job security continues to cause the least stress.”

Among the other key findings from the Q1 survey:

  • Anxiety rose and was most pronounced among self employed, lower income earners and consumers living in Victoria and Queensland.
  • The anxiety gap between young women and men closes.
  • Professional workers reported a significant fall in anxiety.
  • Consumers living in Tasmania, NSW/ACT, rural towns/bush and part time workers were the only other groups to report lower anxiety.

With overall anxiety increasing, consumers are allocating a bigger share of the household budget to paying off debt, utilities and medical bills, while cutting back on many “non-essentials”, such as entertainment and household items.

“In terms of their overall household financial position, however, not having enough to retire, being able to provide for the family’s future and meet medical costs were causing the greatest concern” said Mr Oster.

Further detail on consumer anxiety by key demographics is available on request.

About the Index

The NAB Quarterly Australian Consumer Anxiety Index was launched in April 2013 with the aim of assessing perceptions of consumer stress and wellbeing.

The NAB Consumer Anxiety Index provides a subjective assessment of over 2,100 Australian’s own concerns about their future spending/savings plans arising from job security, health, retirement, cost of living and government policy. The index provides detailed results by: geography; age; income; employment status; occupation; sex; and marital status.

For further analysis download the full report: