Nearly half of Aussies living paycheck to paycheck

The latest ME Bank six monthly survey of financial comfort, released this week, revealed that cost of living pressures remain by far the biggest concern amongst Australian households, with 40% claiming they are living paycheck to paycheck:

31% of households that indicated that their financial situation had worsened over the past year, there was a marked increase in the number citing the cost of living as the reason – up by 7 points to 43% during the six months to June 2019, and much higher than the next most cited reasons: change in job arrangements/job security (13%), change in income (12%) and no/low wage growth (11%). See Figure 18…

The ‘cost of necessities’ (e.g. fuel, utilities and groceries) continued to be the ‘biggest worry’ of households, although the proportion nominating this as their biggest worry fell by two points to 44% during the six months to June 2019…

40% of households continued to spend all their monthly income…

The latest Household financial confidence survey from DFA also revealed that confidence hit a new low of 85.43, well below the neutral level and significantly below the previous low of 87.69 in 2015:

Today’s wage data for the June quarter is expected to disappoint once again. If so, this will place Australian households under ongoing financial pressure.

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