Below trend growth to continue
The new NAB Quarterly Australian Wellbeing Index has been launched in conjunction with the NAB Quarterly Australian Consumer Anxiety Index with the aim of assessing perceptions of wellbeing and consumer stress.
Subjective wellbeing measures can play an important role in supplementing traditional economic measures of national wellbeing. The NAB Australian Wellbeing Index is a subjective assessment of over 1,000 Australian’s own perceptions of their wellbeing. NAB’s methodology is based on a similar survey conducted by the UK government statistician (ONS). Despite Australia’s much stronger economy, Australia’s wellbeing score was weaker than the annual UK survey (conducted in early-2012) suggesting that economic growth alone does not fully explain wellbeing. Among the other key findings: higher income does not necessarily translate into higher wellbeing; women report slightly higher levels of wellbeing; wellbeing seems to improve with age; having a partner appears to play a positive role in wellbeing; and having a full-time job is important for overall wellbeing.
The NAB Consumer Anxiety Index is a subjective assessment of over 1,000 Australian’s own concerns about their future spending/savings plans. Consumers rated the cost of living as the single biggest cause of anxiety. Job security concerns rated lowest despite moderating economic growth and uncertainty over future labour market trends. A large number of respondents reported relatively low anxiety levels in regards to their health. Among other key findings: anxiety was lowest in high income groups and highest in the 35-50K group; anxiety rated higher among women (particularly in regards to their ability to fund retirement) and those with children; divorced people had the highest level of anxiety while widowed people were least anxious; an inverted U-shaped relationship was noted between anxiety and age; and part time workers were more anxious than those with full time jobs.
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