NAB: Australians are less anxious about the future, except when you ask about the government

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While consumer sentiment may have taken a pummelling in recent weeks, anxiety levels among Australian consumers are declining with the latest NAB consumer anxiety index sliding 1 point to 62.5 points in the September quarter.

The survey, which started in April 2013, provides a subjective assessment of over 2,100 Australians’ own concerns about their future spending/savings plans arising from job security, health, retirement, cost of living and government policy, breaking the results by geography, age, income, employment status, occupation, sex, and marital status.

The NAB reports the decline in anxiety levels were underpinned by lower stress associated with retirement funding, cost of living, job security and health. Despite the decline in the survey’s cost of living pressures measure, it remained the largest source of consumer anxiety during the quarter.

However, in a message for politicians on both side of the house in Canberra, the only sub-component that increased during the quarter was the outlook for government policy. According to the survey, almost 32% of Australian consumers rated their concern over government policy “high” during the quarter, up from 29.4% in the June quarter. The NAB note that increase was driven solely by Queensland, where budget estimates have also been under some scrutiny recently.

The change in anxiety levels for each survey component are listed in the table below.

And here is the breakdown by state and territory. As it reveals, consumers in Tasmania are the least anxious in the country, while those in Queensland are the most anxious.

So based on the survey’s findings, who would be the most anxious person in Australia. After a quick deductive process, we’ve uncovered the the answer: it’d be a female aged 30-49 living in a regional city in Queensland. She’d be divorced with one child, skilled in a specific trade and currently unemployed.

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