Cost of Living: Still the Number One Issue

Monday, May 13, 2013

Cost of living: Still the number one issueWith the federal budget on release tomorrow evening, a new McCrindle Research survey reveals that cost of living is still the front of mind issue for Australians. In early 2013, Gen Ys, Gen Xers, and the Baby Boomers across the nation expressed that the rising cost of living was their number one concern (see previous study here), which has held true in our latest research...

Click here to download the PDF.


Overall perceptions from state to state


Interestingly, two thirds of Australians think that the cost of living in their state is much higher or somewhat higher than all the other states and territories. The belief that life is most expensive in one’s own state is highest in Western Australia, where 91% of respondents said their living costs are greater than those in other states and territories (compared to the national average of 69%). Next in line is New South Wales, with 82% of respondents noting the cost of living to be higher in their state than in other states and territories, followed closely by ACT and Tasmania, both at 80%. Queenslanders and South Australians feel they have the best affordability with less than half (46%) saying living costs in their state are higher than elsewhere around the country.


The pressure is on


88% of Australians feel the cost of living pressures are greater today than 5 years ago. While Western Australia had the same percentage as the national average when analysing the increase overall, in the extreme increase category it had the highest response at 63% (compared to the national average of 47%). The strongest response overall was given by South Australians, with 95% feeling an increase in cost of living pressures.


Cost increases just keep going up


Graph: Where have you experienced significant cost increases?

Cost increases have been most felt through utility bills, with 83% of Australians reporting that they have experienced cost increases in their power and gas bills that have had a significant impact on their cost of living. Petrol prices are the next in line, with 77% reporting significant costs, followed by grocery prices – reported to have increased significantly by 74% of the population.

More Tasmanians than other Australians (93%, compared to the national average of 83%) report paying power and gas bills that have increased significantly in price in the last 5 years. In a similar way, respondents from the ACT report high cost increases in the cost of housing over the last 5 years when compared to the other states (78% report that they’ve experienced cost increases that have had a significant impact on their cost of living, compared to the national average of 43%).


The blame game


Who is most responsible for increased cost of living in Australia?

39% of Australians assert that the Federal government is most responsible for increased living costs, with only 1% of the blame directed towards local constituent government bodies. While only 34 % of Generation Ys primarily blame the government for the rise of living costs, that percentage rises to 37% for Gen Xers, 42% for Baby Boomers, and 49% for Builders – blame on the federal government therefore increases with age.

Utility companies are the next in line, with almost a quarter of Australians reporting that water, electricity, and gas companies are to blame. In Tasmania, sentiment towards utility companies is worst – with 40% of Tasmanians reporting that utility companies are to blame (compared to the national average of 24%). Tasmanians also appear to have the best perceptions towards the federal government, with only 13% of them directly placing blame on the federal government.


Everyday shopping changes


Over half of Australians report making significant changes to their shopping patterns over the last 5 years:

  • 59% have changed how much they buy by cutting back on some purchases and not eating as much.

  • 52% of respondents have changed what they buy, buying more private label or supermarket products rather than recognised brands.

  • 51% of respondents have changed where they buy, shopping in cheaper supermarkets and bulk retailers

  • 48% have changed how they buy through online shopping, using discount vouchers, and only buying items on sale


Reducing lifestyle expenditures


In the last 5 years, have you reduced your expenditure on any of the areas listed below?

Over the past five years, Australians have significantly reduced their expenditure on a number of different products and services. Holidays have been the first to go, with 45% of Australians having reduced their costs or eliminated expenditure on holidays altogether. Over one third of Australians have changed their expenditure to subscriptions such as TV, magazines, newspapers, and online services. Over a quarter of Australians have reduced their gym, sports, or club memberships, and reduced the outsourcing of home services.

While the study shows that Australians will readily give up their holidays or paid subscriptions when times get tough, they are less willing or able to cut back when it comes to their children: Only 11% of Australians report making cut-backs on private school fees, tuition, and education expenses, and only 9% have reduced spending on childcare and babysitting services.


Grim economic outlook


There is a fair bit of pessimism among Australians today – 3 out of 4 individuals feel that we are ‘worse now’ economically than we were last year. Out of this group of respondents, 65% hold that Australia will be even worse next year, whereas the rest believe there will be a positive turn-around. Western Australia is the most optimistic state when it comes to economic outlook, with 28% of respondents sensing that Australia is economically better now than last year and will be even better next year (compared to only 13% of the national average who held that same view).

Opinion on the grimness of Australia’s economic outlook increases with age. While only 29% of Generation Ys hold to the matter that Australia is economically worse now than last year and will be even worse next year, 48% of Generation Xers, 57% of Baby Boomers, and 59% of Builders expressed this strong sentiment.

Click here to download the PDF.

Welcome to our blog...

We have a passion for research that tells a story, that can be presented visually, that brings about change and improves organisations. And we hope these resources help you know the times.

Our Social Media Sites

Facebook | McCrindle Research Social Media YouTube | McCrindle Research Social Media Twitter | McCrindle Research Social Media Flickr | McCrindle Research Social Media Pinterest | McCrindle Research Social Media Google Plus | McCrindle Research Social Media LinkedIn | McCrindle Research Social Media Mark McCrindle Slideshare


Last 150 Articles


Tags

Australian Dream group session Births cold vegetarian divorce business index ABS cost innovation high school criminal schools students mccrindle tea events McCrindle Speakers brand experience rise of local entrepreneur alpha ashley mckenzie market research social commentator Financial Planning Association of Australia dreaming marriages moreton bay Population Clock career holiday trend tuesday social impact teach socialites vegemite case study baby name Christmas lunch urban taskforce renting parents in depth interviews professional development capital cities tattoos rain Word Up home ownership NT financial independence princess charlotte Caregiver australian communities trends report sydney event insights Crime Rates social enquiry life transport apartment baby boomers Charlotte cancel plans experience etiquette mover and shaker divorce rate finance young australians small business engage easy rider 2020 focus groups education research fresh residents Wodonga future waverton researcher workplace culture area demographic growth trend omnibus eliane miles Duchess of Cambridge real potts point Education Future Forum summer clothing Christmas presents coffee baby name trends research celebration affordability cars participants work balance online mateship housing market conference speaker national wealth suburb world couple rule keeper cloudy days public speaking sydney speaker safe English paying to work interactive graphs CBD urban living index data analyst australia religion 2017 priorities future of education budget online shopping year 12 Tuesday Trends hopes population entrepreneurs of today optimistic Aussie 23 million global financial crisis Queensland DIY research data crime youth unemployment IT Specialists city 1980 Australia Day 2017 house price politics entertainment PSI 2016 ethnography media qualitative research technology 2014 speakers thrive narcissism 24 million sector ageing population stay home australians staying home more skills debt product meals Christchurch conference Wagga Wagga business Australian Census internships ACF 2016 language students communication educated VIC food australian social research professional world youth day urban know the times society trends men mortgage non profit dare to dream menai student teacher Australian demographics personal growth offenders logan NSW Real Estate Institute of Victoria emerging generations FPA resilience weather publication sports house unaffordable staying in leadership workshop social change identity visual data visualisation networking charity women optus learner marketing not for profit Social Trend communications 10 years work mates australian communities forum study EFF commute Channel Seven nfp low density click environmental scanning sustainable manly ease of travel seasons 2012 slideshare population map population growth social shifts Australian Bureau of Statistics 2015 consumer NEETs woolworths February 16 baby family demographic trends brand research services mobile land of the middle class royal influence high density living capital city litter annual income Financial Planning Week digital faux-cilising collaboration investor news education future gen z REIV National Conference intern Queensland: QLD newspaper infographic community engagement Gen Y sun builders Canberra young people change 2013 The ABC of XYZ volunteers wealth local suburban living wealth distribution Merry Christmas gen alpha employers village prince george households schools royal baby proactive group wealth and income distribution shbc housing baby boom "know the times" Australian Home tableau cost of living The Daily Edition award poker master middle class sunny days townhouses entrepreneurial acf15 energy Royals video wellbeing teleworking generation alpha Generation X keynote speaker school sentiments moderators guide mythbusting perth millenials local communities Australia Day long weekend families suburbs parenting REIV Conference careers hornsby 40 million state educhat socialising geomapping System's Architect conference presentation happiness future proof twentyseventeen mythbusters authenticity research pack housing affordability jobs data motivate South Australia Australian schools owning a home workshop not-for-profit SA daily telegraph Valentine’s Day media release rental stress poor relational hello fresh event government school satisfaction list holidays water thought leadership mother's day Northern Beaches Christian School children weekly earnings Christmas season Engineering Manager millionth post rationalism social lives financial dreams goal outsourcing leader wedding presentations organisational culture visualisation Scouts forum consumerism financial media commentary investment property tips communities WA christmas generations Love social trends demographer ashley fell tv forecasting anzac wealth and income sunburnt country easter friendship focus group education HSC child care shopper's pick Assistant Store Manager marriage futurist rising house prices home owner Kirsten Brewer trends of 2017 learning toys ACT trends analyst fears shopping trends of 2016 brisbane property price teaching culture google for education affordable sector wide shifts generation tea workforce DESTEL hobart crows nest average aussie Tuesday Trend winter blues global generations Aussies rich debate social analysis tuesday economic grandparents jobs of the future Research Executive christianity going out Mark McCrindle Financial Planning Association insight snapshot internship royal dream pyrmont recap daily commute New Zealand follow Res Vis 24,000,000 generational trends Hornsby Shire Council millennials community event engagement Generation Y plans Bathburst January 26th national private wealth 1994 father's day high density apartments panel demographics challenge responsive collaborative urban living generation Z social researcher social researchers Netflix 1975 communicate Channel 7 relevant mentor public holiday the changing face of FOMO Territory Australian Communities Trends employment Wellington JOMO cancelling event year 7 financial future global housing growth typical australian aussie culture learn statistics housing trends Sydney keynote speaker cash earnings royal family lifestyle presentation research visualisation Myth ultimo media activity TDE quote social research social media domestic results monarchy repayments Geoff Brailey education sector unemployment Kiwi training living sydneysiders Australians emerging technologies property market faux-cilise kate middleton organisations sector wide study resource states retirement increasing densification church leadership teachers baby name predictions demographic transformations gender cultural diversity New Zeland emerging trends house prices social commentary Melbourne national crime rates neutral bay eliane program staff personalities renter of the future greatness ideas mining boom GPO tertiary education new york times economy spend define curiosity wages earn mccrindle in the media bondi friends gold coast salary innovative huffington post goals Western Australia marrickville 1968 names cancelling plans blaxland equip survey design mccrindle trends rent Australian Trends New South Wales sydneycity hills shire Northern Beaches dessert Australian Families facts megatrends selfie growing population future-proof survey stats wolloomooloo Sydney darwin victoria income university keynote education future report learning styles future of work social life high density ipswich optus my business awards winter analysis google professional speaker youth brands Gen X report Northern Territory home World Water Day university degree community faux-ciliser Deaths cartodb work-life population milestone customer baby names school students social Real Estate future proofing cooking overcast environment Northern beaches Event Tasmania society Adelaide deloitte buildings lalor park TAS mccrindle research internet census Do It Yourself in the media workplace ACF household Australian communities

Archive