In January, our article on APAC’s top New Year Resolutions for 2023 revealed that over half of APAC’s consumers (54%) say that better money management is on their list of goals for this year.
In this article, we explore what residents in Australia think about the state of their household finances – how do these perceptions vary across income levels?
Additionally, do Australia’s residents generally expect their household finances to get better or worse over the next 12 months? And how bullish or bearish are workers from specific sectors, like real estate or retail, about their future finances?
Are household finances in Australia getting better or worse?
Latest data from YouGov Profiles, as of February 2023, show that close to half (47%) of all Australian residents say there has been no change in their household finances compared to one month ago. Data from YouGov Profiles reflect cumulative responses over the past 52 weeks.
Three in ten (31%), however, report worsening household finances, while less than one in five (18%) say their financial situation has improved. Regionally, Australia has a relatively high percentage of residents who say their household finances have changed for the worse – compared to other markets like Indonesia, Hong Kong and Singapore – although Thailand boasts an even larger proportion.
Higher income households are significantly more likely to report that their financial situation has improved (11-15 percentage points higher on average than middle to lower income households) and significantly less likely to say their finances have worsened (12-17 points lower on average than middle to lower income households).
The reverse is true for lower income households, who are significantly more likely to report a worsening financial situation (39%) and significantly less likely to say their finances have taken a turn for the better (13%).
Do Australian households expect their finances to improve or worsen over the next 12 months?
When asked how they anticipate their household finances to change over the next 12 months, only 28% of Australian residents expect their situation to remain the same.
In comparison, more than a third (35%) expect their household finances to improve, while over a quarter (26%) of households expect their situation to worsen.
Regionally, Australia has the highest proportion of residents who expect their household finances to worsen in the next 12 months – compared to other APAC markets like Hong Kong, Indonesia and Singapore and Thailand. At the same time, compared to Singapore and Hong Kong, a larger percentage of Australia’s residents expect their financial situation to improve in the near future.
In which sectors are respondents most bullish and bearish about their household finances in the next 12 months?
Australian residents who work in Construction, IT & Telecoms and Accountancy are most optimistic about their household finances in the next 12 months, with half or close to half expecting an improvement.
Additionally, over two in five of Australian residents who work in the Financial Services, Hospitality & Leisure, Legal, Media / Marketing / Advertising / PR & Sales and Manufacturing sectors are also bullish about their household finances changing for the better over the coming year.
On the other hand, those employed in the Manufacturing and Legal sectors are most pessimistic, with three in ten expecting their household finances to get worse in the next 12 months.
Meanwhile, over a quarter of Australian residents who work in the Medical & Health services, Education and IT & Telecoms sector are also bearish about their household finances changing for the worse over the coming year.
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Methodology: YouGov Profiles is based on continuously collected data and rolling surveys, rather than from a single limited questionnaire. Profiles data for Australia is nationally representative of all adults (18 years or older), and weighted by age, gender, and region, and reflect the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) population estimates. Learn more about Profiles.