Toluna’s Global Consumer Barometer study reveals Australians are increasingly concerned about their finances due to the Omicron outbreak.
Spending confidence down
The latest study that canvassed Aussies’ views during the first week in January revealed that almost half (47 per cent) of Australians were concerned about being able to afford the cost of Christmas. The majority of Australians surveyed admitted they had been unable to save as much as in previous years. As a result, 42 per cent used credit options while shopping for Christmas, so they were able to delay the payment and spread the cost over time. And in bad news for retailers, this impact on savings combined with Christmas spending and ongoing financial insecurity means most Australians will cut back on discretionary spending in 2022.
Financial insecurity affecting more women and young people
Over one-third of Australians say they are worse off financially due to the pandemic, with women and young people the most affected. Women, however, have taken a bigger hit than men, with 39 per cent of women financially worse off due to the pandemic, compared to only 35 per cent of men. Further, 22 per cent of men said they’re financially better off now than they were before the pandemic, while only 14 per cent of women are now financially better off.
Young people also fared badly during the pandemic, with 48 per cent of those aged between 18-24 stating they’re now financially worse off than before the pandemic, closely followed by 43 per cent of those between 45-54. Only 20 per cent of over-75s and 31 per cent of those between 65-74 had been negatively impacted financially. Women also felt less secure in their employment – with seven in ten women saying they felt insecure about their job stability.
Cautious start to 2022
Sej Patel, Country Director, Toluna, Australia & New Zealand said that after two years, the pandemic continues to impact the way Australians spend money.
“The ongoing economic uncertainty, coupled with the rise of the worst outbreak Australians have ever experienced, had a dramatic impact on consumer spending and confidence over the Christmas period, with many Australians entering 2022 with an abundance of caution,” Patel said.
“We know from previous research that consumers are now more inclined to shop with brands whose values align with their own, with many proactively seeking out brands who are socially and environmentally conscious. Now, with frugality top of mind for shoppers, brands that can clearly communicate their values, while also demonstrating value for money will have a clear advantage over their competitors,” Patel concluded.
How Aussies plan to spend in 2022
Compared to 2021:
- 36 per cent of Australians expect to spend less money on holidays in 2022 (with 22 per cent planning to spend more)
- Similarly, 36 per cent of respondents expect to spend less eating out this year (although 22 per cent plan to spend more)
- 26 per cent of Australians expect to spend less on car purchases
- 23 per cent expect to invest less
- 26 per cent expect to spend less on books and magazines
- 27 per cent expect to spend less on entertainment and subscriptions
- 28 per cent expect to spend less on casual clothing, with 25 per cent expecting to spend less on work clothing
What Australians expect to spend more on some items in 2022:
- 20 per cent expect to spend more on car insurance
- 19 per cent expect to spend more on home insurance
- 19 per cent expect to spend more on household cleaning products
- And 24 per cent expect to spend more on healthcare
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