Thursday 7th July 2016 - 12:59 pm

Anxious shoppers identified

by Alan Thornhill

Middle aged women shoppers typically experience much higher anxiety levels  than men.


This is confirmed in a study that the National Australia Bank published today.


Overwhelmingly though its results were positive.


The study found, for example, that anxiety levels among Australian consumers have now fallen for the fourth straight quarter.


The bank said this had happened as Australians responded to sustained improvements in the labour market and recovery in the non-mining economy.


Its chief economist, Alan Oster, said:  “…this is the fourth Survey in a row where overall consumer anxiety has trended downwards.


“Consumer anxiety is now at its lowest level since half-way through 2013 and well below its long-term average,”Mr Oster said


And he added: “while we continue to expect moderate growth in consumer spending throughout 2016, this is contingent upon further pick-up in labour market conditions and risks associated with further declines in the household savings rate.”


The bank said its Consumer Anxiety Index had eased slightly to 60.2 points in Q2 2016, from 60.4 points in the previous quarter.


“Lower overall consumer anxiety was driven by decreasing anxiety associated with the cost of living, government policy (post the 2016-17 Federal Budget) and health expenditure,” it added.


However the bank also said:  “overall women reported much higher anxiety than men.


And it added that:  “… women aged 30-49 now the most stressed group overall.


“In contrast, men over 50 are among the least stressed,” it added.


The study did find, though, that some worries are persistent.


It concluded:  “financing retirement, providing for their family’s future and healthcare were identified by Australians as the biggest drivers of financial stress.”

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Alan Thornhill

Alan Thornhill is a parliamentary press gallery journalist.
Private Briefing is updated daily with Australian personal finance news, analysis, and commentary.

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