The Australian Financial Report has been released, and it’s one of the first to provide a good look at what Australians are paying into their finances, and what is happening to them.
The report also finds that while Australians are struggling financially, they are also spending more than ever before.
Over the past 12 months, Australians have been saving more than double what they did a decade ago, and the number of Australians living on less than $50,000 has risen by almost 50 per cent, the report says.
In a sign of the economic climate, households have been spending more money than ever.
However, the financial impact of this spending has been concentrated in a few key areas.
For example, spending on food, clothing, transport and entertainment has increased by just 0.6 per cent.
Spending on education has increased, but only by 0.4 per cent over the past year.
Australia’s household debt rose from $6.4 trillion to $9.4 billion in the year to March 31, according to the ABS, and is the second highest among developed countries.
Australian households were the first in the world to reach this debt-to-income ratio of 70 per cent in 2008.
While households are continuing to pay down debt, the ABS says that the rate of repayment is increasing rapidly.
By 2023, households are on track to repay $1.3 trillion of their debts, while those on fixed-income bonds are projected to repay only $3.2 trillion.
“Our government is committed to making sure the economy is strong and that Australians are living well,” Treasurer Scott Morrison said in a statement.
What are the findings of the Australian Financial Survey?
The ABS survey asks Australians how much they have borrowed over the last 12 months to cover basic living expenses and pay for essentials such as rent, bills, childcare, petrol, electricity, mortgage and child support. AAP