Confidence falls as families struggle
HOUSEHOLD financial confidence continues to fall as families cope with increased mortgage stress, rising rents, low wages and household budgets squeezed even further.
According to the latest survey of household financial confidence by independent research company Digital Financial Analytics, confidence levels fell again in April, following consecutive falls every month since March last year.
The latest results recorded a fall of just over half a percentage point to 91.7 on the index for April 2018.
This compares with a neutral confidence level of 100.
Digital Analytics director Martin North said the largest falls were in Victoria, NSW and Queensland.
In contrast, small rises were recorded in South Australia and Tasmania, while Western Australia remained steady.
Victoria’s confidence index was now 98.1, lower than NSW’s at 99, but still above the other states which all have an index level in the low 90s.
The biggest causes of concern for households was the rising cost of living with 79 per cent saying their household costs had increased, up 1.4 per cent compared with a month ago. Rising costs cited included electricity, school fees, healthcare and fuel.
Debt levels were also keeping confidence low with 44 per cent saying they are worse off compared with a year ago.
The survey also found more people were putting household costs on credit cards to manage their finances.
Younger households were also the least confident, impacted by low job availability, underemployment, flat wages and the belief they will never be able to buy a home.