Join

Enter Details

Comment on stories, receive email newsletters & alerts.

@
This is your permanent identity for Business Insider Australia
Your email must be valid for account activation
Minimum of 8 standard keyboard characters

Subscribe

Email newsletters but will contain a brief summary of our top stories and news alerts.

Forgotten Password

Enter Details


Back to log in

This table shows how downbeat Australians have become over the past year

Photo by Ian Waldie/Getty Images

Nothing quite shows how downbeat Australians are compared to a year ago than the table below.

From Westpac, it shows the breakdown of its August consumer sentiment survey by demographic grouping.

Check out the change on a year earlier:

Source: Westpac

Oof.

With the exception of sales and clerical workers, every other cohort said that their sentiment levels were the levels of a year earlier.

The vast majority of groupings also have a reading below 100, indicating that pessimists outnumber optimists.

That mirrors the broader theme in the survey where pessimists have dominated in each of the past eight months, the longest stretch seen since the global financial crisis.

The index, at 95.5, is also at a 15-month low, putting it in stark contrast to business confidence which currently sits at multi-year highs, driven by booming profitability levels.

To Paul Dales, chief Australia and New Zealand economist at Capital Economics, the recent divergence between household and business finances largely explains the gap between consumer and business sentiment.

“Households are becoming more downbeat just as businesses are becoming more upbeat. This makes perfect sense as businesses are benefiting from the upswing in global demand and rising profits, while households’ real incomes are being restrained by low wage growth and rising prices of items they have to buy such as utilities and health insurance etc.”

Dales says that such a scenario will probably lead to a bit more business investment growth but a lot less growth in household consumption, the largest component within the Australian economy.

“That’s partly why we believe GDP will rise by just 2.0% this year and only 2.5% next year,” he says.

NOW READ: Australia’s economy has been gathering steam — but it looks unlikely to last

NOW WATCH: Money & Markets videos

Want to read a more in-depth view on the trends influencing Australian business and the global economy? BI / Research is designed to help executives and industry leaders understand the major challenges and opportunities for industry, technology, strategy and the economy in the future. Sign up for free at research.businessinsider.com.au.