Nielsen data indicates cost of living concerns impacting spending decisions


Nearly 1 in 4 say interest rates are nation’s most pressing social issue, 6.8m see economic growth as a significant social issue

Nielsen has released new Consumer and Media View data, which reveals 95% of Australians are worried about the cost of living – a 9% increase compared to 2021. Amplified by the recent surge in inflation and interest rate rises, cost of living concerns have significantly impacted purchase decisions, and look set to do so for the foreseeable future.

The Consumer and Media View data reveals of the most concern for Aussie consumers is the cost of everyday necessities, with 84% of respondents saying they’re particularly worried about the growing cost of petrol, utilities and groceries. Over the last three years, concern about the cost of groceries has surged by 34%, 42% for petrol, and 15% for gas, water and electricity.

Nielsen researchers noted the concerns appear well-founded, with the average weekly grocery shop rising from $140 to $153 over the last year. Consequently, 35% say they’re finding it difficult to make ends meet – a concerning 22% rise compared to three years ago.

Such pressures mean a substantial segment of the population are increasingly worried about their financial situation, with roughly 6.7 million Australians confessing they don’t feel financially secure. In addition, 73% of respondents say they’re already making plans to mitigate the potential impact of future economic fluctuations.

As financial pressures mount, Australians are increasingly on the hunt for savings, with 69% revealing they actively seek out specials and bargains when shopping. As a result, brand loyalty in the food sector has declined, with 66% of respondents saying they frequently switch food brands if a rival offers a discount or has a better deal.

This added financial stress means 42% of Australians now feel burdened by their responsibilities, and roughly 5.1 million Australians now consider interest rates to be the country’s most pressing social issue – a massive 160% increase over the last three years.

6.8 million Australians (31%) also view economic growth as a significant social issue, showing the clear impact that cost of living concerns are having on what Australians now believe to be the nation’s key challenges.

See also: Brands surveyed by Nielsen expect annual marketing budgets to increase in 2023

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