Aussies prefer to save despite rise in economic optimism


AUSTRALIANS have as much coin in their pockets as they did before the Global Financial Crisis, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

And Warwick Chamber of Commerce and Industry president David Littleproud said the national statistics were reflective of the economic conditions in the Southern Downs.

"People are saving more and are keeping more money away for a rainy day," Mr Littleproud said.

"They're also limiting purchases to smaller items, so cars have probably proved to be the most expensive thing they will spend their money on at the moment."

Household wealth is now back to on average $75,955 per person, 22% above what it was 12 months ago.

Mr Littleproud said the tightened wallets came as confidence plummeted, but people were regaining that confidence more every day.

"It wasn't just the GFC, we've had a minority government and people haven't been sure of them and what they were going to do," Mr Littleproud said.

"There is still cautious optimism out there, and I think we will see after the federal election that people will start to spend again because that confidence will start to be restored."

Mr Littleproud referred to the Region Wide Business Survey report, developed by Professor Paul Hyland of QUT's Business School and Phil Curtis of Anexco, and said the results from that survey were positive for the region's economy.

"That survey indicated there is optimism in where we are going," he said.

"We have shown we are resilient and are prepared to make investments in our businesses so they prosper into the future."

While Mr Littleproud said there were positive things ahead for the region, there would also be some pinches along the way.

"A number of costs are going to go up as of (yesterday), which will impact business significantly, which can only be passed on to consumers," Mr Littleproud said.

"We will have to come to terms with it and move on.

"The Government needs to be aware a lot of these costs that will be passed on to businesses with very fine margins.

"I think, if we get clear direction, people will start to spend in the next 12 months."

Topics:  australian bureau of statistics economy savings warwick chamber of commerce

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