Survey finds Australians unlikely to use the economic stimulus on Christmas entertaining

Posted by James Ferre on 29th October 2008

Australians are likely to be sensible with any cash benefits they receive from the Government’s stimulus package and either put it towards their mortgage or save it, a survey by the Australian National Retailers Association has found.

ANRA, which represents Australia’s leading retailers, undertook a poll of 1,000 Australians late last week, asking how consumers will spend their part of the Federal Government’s stimulus package.

“Close to 40 per cent of people will put the money towards their mortgage or credit card debt, or pop it into the bank,” ANRA CEO Margy Osmond said today. “People are going to use this money to get ahead and relieve the financial pressure.”

“Only nine per cent are going to spent it on themselves or Christmas gifts or entertaining over the festive season.”

Only one per cent reported they were most likely to use the stimulus on Christmas entertaining (food, alcohol etc.), with 18-24 year-olds and those over 55 more inclined to spend the cash bonus for such purposes.

“This survey confirms what we have been saying for a number of months now. People are being sensible with their money – they’re cocooning. They’re spending their money carefully and only purchasing what is absolutely necessary,” Mrs Osmond noted. “Young people are also heeding the global warning, with close to 20 per cent of those aged
between 18 and 24 planning to save their bonus.”

Close to 35 per cent of Australians believe they will not benefit from the Government’s spending package.

“Retailers are being squeezed on two sides. Consumers are hesitant to spend which is hitting the bottom line, and at the same time retailers are paying more for their product because of the reduced buying power of the Australian dollar,” Mrs Osmond added. “There are now clear signals that another interest rate cut is warranted.”