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Australians largely negative on prospects for 2020

Source: Roy Morgan telephone, SMS and web surveys in Australia 1980-2019 with an average of 1,000 Australians aged 18+ interviewed each year. Question: “As far as you are concerned, do you think 2020 will be better, worse, or the same as 2019?”
A special Roy Morgan web survey shows two-fifths of Australians (40%) think 2020 will be ‘worse’ than 2019. This represents a significant increase of 26% points from a year ago and is the highest figure for nearly three decades since 1990 – during the midst of Australia’s last recession.

In addition a record low 12% of Australians think 2020 will be ‘better’ than 2019 (down 32% points from a year ago) while 41% (up 9% points) say 2020 will be about the same and 7% (down 3% points) don’t know.

The net negative rating of 28% points is the largest negative gap in the survey’s history going back nearly forty years. This exceeds the previous record gap of a net negative rating of 16% points in 1990 when 33% expected the next year (1991) would be better and 49% expected it to be worse.

Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine reflects on the mood of Australians as we head towards 2020 and notes that pessimism about the future has rarely been so pronounced: “Australians are facing 2020 with a large degree of pessimism about prospects for the new year. Only 12% of Australians expect next year will be ‘better’ than this year while 40% - the highest since 1990 – expect next year will be ‘worse’.

“Pessimism is widespread with at least 40% of respondents in Australia’s two largest States of New South Wales and Victoria, as well as Tasmania, expecting next year to be worse. The trend is the same across age groups with at least 40% of everyone aged 25 or older expecting a ‘worse’ year in 2020.

“The youngest Australians aged 18-24 are the most positive about 2020 but even then only 16% of this age group expect a ‘better’ year in 2020 and around twice as many (31%) expect 2020 to be ‘worse.’

“In a portent of the low expectations surrounding 2020 the final ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence Rating for 2019 came in at 108.0 – the lowest Consumer Confidence rating to end a year for over a decade since 2008 during the midst of the Global Financial Crisis.”


Next Year – Better or Worse?

Next Year Better or Worse - 2020 cf. 2019

Source: Roy Morgan telephone, SMS and web surveys in Australia 1980-2019 with an average of 1,000 Australians aged 18+ interviewed each year. Question: “As far as you are concerned, do you think 2020 will be better, worse, or the same as 2019?”


Analysis by Age & Gender – Next Year ‘Better’ or ‘Worse’

Next Year Better or Worse - 2020 cf. 2019

Source: This special Roy Morgan web survey was conducted in October with a cross-section of 1,043 Australians aged 18+.

Slightly more men (41%) than women (40%) expect 2020 will be ‘worse’ than 2019, although there are also more men (14%) that say 2020 will be ‘better’ than 2019 than women (10%).

Analysing by age group shows younger people are the least pessimistic about 2020 – although all age groups expect 2020 will be ‘worse’ than 2019.

Over a third of 18-24 year olds (37%) expect 2020 will be ‘worse’ than 2019 with this figure exceeding 40% for all older age groups and peaking at 43% for 50-64 year olds.

Only a sixth of 18-24 year olds (16%) expect 2020 will be ‘better’ than 2019 although this is higher than for all older age groups. Only 8% of 25-34 year olds expect 2020 will be ‘better’ than 2019 – the lowest of any age group.


Analysis by Age & Gender – Next Year ‘Better’ or ‘Worse’

Total

Australia

Gender

Age

Men

Women

18-24

25-34

35-49

50-64

65+

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Better

12

14

10

16

8

10

12

11

Same

41

40

41

37

42

41

43

42

Worse

40

41

40

31

42

46

41

41

Don’t know

7

5

9

16

8

3

4

6

TOTAL

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100


Analysis by States & Regions – Next Year ‘Better’ or ‘Worse’

Next Year Better or Worse - 2020 cf. 2019

Source: This special Roy Morgan web survey was conducted in October with a cross-section of 1,043 Australians aged 18+.

Analysing by State shows respondents in all States are more negative about 2020 compared to 2019.

Residents of New South Wales are the most pessimistic about 2020 with nearly half, 47%, expecting 2020 will be ‘worse’ than 2019 followed by 44% of Tasmanians and 40% of Victorians.

Optimism is in short supply around Australia and with only one-seventh of respondents in Queensland (14%) and Victoria (14%) expecting 2020 will be ‘better’ than 2019 these two States have a higher proportion of optimists than any others.

Respondents in the Country (42%) are marginally more pessimistic about 2020 being ‘worse’ than 2018 compared to those in the City (39%).


Analysis by States & Regions – Next Year ‘Better’ or ‘Worse’

States

City/ Country

Total

Australia

NSW

VIC

QLD

WA

SA

TAS

City

Country

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Better

12

11

14

14

11

8

5

13

10

Same

41

35

41

41

49

54

46

41

41

Worse

40

47

40

39

33

31

44

39

42

Don’t know

7

7

5

6

7

7

5

7

7

TOTAL

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100


Next Year – Better or Worse? Long-term trends

“As far as you are concerned, do you think that 2020 will be better, worse, or the same as 2019?”

1980

1981

1982

1983

1984

1985

1986

1987

1988

1989

1990

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Better

42

43

32

57

57

52

36

39

47

43

33

Same

33

26

22

24

25

24

23

21

22

22

18

Worse

25

31

46

19

18

24

41

40

31

35

49

TOTAL

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996*

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Better

54

42

60

65

53

n/a

50

55

49

46

53

Same

20

22

22

19

29

n/a

28

25

30

33

21

Worse

26

36

18

16

18

n/a

22

20

21

21

26

TOTAL

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2017

2018

2019

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Better

51

68

61

49

47

53

49

66

31

44

12

Same

16

17

22

22

25

24

17

18

39

32

41

Worse

33

15

17

29

28

23

34

16

30

14

40

Don’t know

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

10

7

TOTAL

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

*This survey wasn’t conducted in 1996 and between 2010-2016.

Finding No. 8236 – This special Roy Morgan web survey was conducted with a representative cross-section of 1,043 Australians on October 9-14, 2019. They were asked “Do you think that 2020 will be better, worse, or the same as 2019?”

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