High employment keeps cost of living pressure at bay

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NAB research today reveals that record employment rates are countering concerns around the cost of living.

The research, based on NAB’s Consumer Sentiment Survey, showed an easing of pressure on Australian households to 55.2 pts in Q3 (56.1 pts in Q2) which is comfortably below the survey average of 58.6 pts.

NAB economists attribute the results to significantly high levels of employment across Australia, as stress related to job security drops to a near four-year low.

With less than 100 days to Christmas, the research also revealed what Australians are expecting when it comes to rising costs between now and the New Year:

• $59 extra a week is expected to be spent on groceries
• $35 extra a week is expected to be spent on fuel
• and gas, electricity, water bills are anticipated to be $19 higher a week.

Given these changing budget expectations, almost one in two Australians said they were being mindful or careful with their money and altering their behaviour:

• Six in 10 (61%) Australians switched to cheaper brands or shopped around for cheaper products
• One in two (54%) were cancelling or cutting back on food delivery services and or on entertainment
(47%)
• More than a third (36%) have cancelled or cut back other subscriptions like newspapers, magazines
or audio books

NAB Group Executive for Personal Banking, Rachel Slade, said many customers were in a good financial
position thanks to high rates of employment but acknowledged some were feeling cost-of-living pressures.

“Christmas can be a stressful time when it comes to finances, but our NAB Assist team and expert bankers are on hand to help anyone who needs extra support,” Ms Slade said.

“I encourage anyone struggling financially or worried about making home loan repayments to contact their bank as soon as possible. We are here to help.

“We know that when people get in touch with us at the first signs of financial stress, we are able to help them get back on their feet sooner. In fact, our records show that 90% of people who speak to NAB Assist early are back on track within 90 days.”

Notes to editors:

• The research was conducted by NAB Economics and based on the Consumer Sentiment Survey responses from 2,050 Australians weighted to the population, conducted in August-September 2022.

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