Wednesday, March 27th, 2013 - Roy Morgan Research

New Zealanders are keeping their belts tight and wallets shut, with around two in three saying they have cut down on spending, the latest New Zealand State of the Nation report from Roy Morgan Research reveals. 

New Zealanders are keeping their belts tight and wallets shut, with around two in three saying they have cut down on spending, the latest New Zealand State of the Nation report from Roy Morgan Research reveals.

Despite big swings over the past four years in the percentage of New Zealanders who see improvement in economic conditions, and historically low interest rates, the level of cost-cutting has relaxed only marginally to 65.3% after hitting nearly 70% in the wake of the GFC.

36% of Kiwis say the economy appears to be improving—when in 2010 this was the majority view—but the proportion who are worried about interest rates is at its lowest point since 2004.

The penchant for penny-pinching is only slightly higher in Australia, where anxiety over interest rates is around 6% points higher than in New Zealand, and belief in economic improvement is now below NZ’s for the first time in almost a decade.

Almost half of New Zealanders put an economic issue as their number one national concern: the ‘Economy/Financial Crisis/Recession’ is top-ranked by 18% of Kiwis, with another 13% citing ‘Unemployment/Job Security’ and 11% ‘Poverty/Imbalance of Wealth’.

The level of concern for the national economy remains higher in New Zealand than in Australia, where the latest research shows economic issues are a priority for 37% of people.

Pip Elliott, General Manager, Roy Morgan Research NZ, says:

“Despite massive swings over the last few years in Kiwis’ perception of how the economy is going, one attitude has stayed consistent: cutting back on our spending.

“After the global financial crisis, we clearly decided it was better to spend less and save more, in preparation for any more rainy days to come. The GFC has clearly made macroeconomics a personal issue for many New Zealanders.”

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Source: Roy Morgan Research; 3 month moving average. Base: NZ population 14+; Australian population 14+

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