Australian wellbeing improved and anxiety fell in Q2, despite softening economic conditions

08 July 2013

NAB’s Australian Wellbeing Index shows overall national wellbeing increased in the past three months, rated 6.6 out of 10, up from 6.2 points in Q1.

In the same period, consumer anxiety fell 0.3 points to 6.0 points in Q2, indicating moderate levels of anxiety for Australians.

Dean Pearson, Head of Industry Economics at NAB says despite our economy softening since the first quarter, Australians rated their wellbeing higher in all categories.

“This research indicates that Australians measure their quality of life and anxiety-levels on broader terms than just national economic performance,” he said.

Those who demonstrate the highest levels of wellbeing are those:

  • earning in excess of $100,000
  • in professional employment
  • who are well-educated
  • are retired / married / with children / aged over 50

There has been a notable change in reported levels of wellbeing in the rural community with wellbeing now higher than in capital cities.

“This change may be attributed, in part, to the lower Australian dollar and an improvement in seasonal conditions, particularly for grains and livestock, lifting confidence,” said Dean.

The cost of living is still the main concern for Australians (rated 6.9 out of 10), but less so than in Q1 (7.4 out of 10).

“While prices for tradeable goods such as electronics and clothing have clearly fallen in recent years, some services such as utilities, insurance and health may have risen,” he said.

Other key trends:

  • an increasing number of Australians, now 45%, rated their anxiety as ‘very low’ in regards to job security
  • there was a large fall in those expressing ‘high’ anxiety over ability to fund retirement to 22.6% in Q2 (31% in Q1)
  • indicators on government policy remained relatively stable

“We were surprised to see less concern about their job security, despite most economic indicators pointing to increasing pressure on the labour market”.

The full NAB Quarterly Australian Wellbeing Index and NAB Quarterly Wellbeing Index for June 2013 is available online.

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Jessica Forrest M: +61 (0) 457 536 958