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Over a third of Australians, 37%, say 2022 will be a year of ‘Economic difficulty’ while 19% expect ‘Economic prosperity’

This special Roy Morgan web survey was conducted in late November with a cross-section of 1,184 Australians aged 18+.

A special Roy Morgan web survey taken in late November shows over a third of Australians, 37%, think next year will be a year of ‘Economic difficulty’, although this is down 11% points on a year ago when nearly half of Australians, 48%, predicted ‘Economic difficulty’ for 2021.

For the second straight year there are only 19% of Australians who think next year will be a year of ‘Economic prosperity’. Nearly half of all Australians think next year will either ‘Remain the same’ (37%) or don’t know 7% how the economy will perform.

Analysing by State shows that a plurality of people in the largest States think next year will be a year of ‘Economic difficulty’ led by Queensland (43%), Victoria (38%) and New South Wales (35%). However, in Western Australia (46%) and South Australia (45%), a clear plurality of people expect in economic terms next year will ‘Remain the same’.

Australians are not as positive about next year’s economic prospects as they are about whether 2022 in a more general sense will be ‘better’ or ‘worse’ than 2021. As we revealed yesterday, despite being down on a year ago, a plurality of 37% of Australians say 2022 will be ‘better’ than 2021 compared to only 23% that say it will be ‘worse’.

This special Roy Morgan web survey was conducted in late November with a cross-section of 1,184 Australians aged 18+.


Do you think next year will be a year of ‘Economic prosperity’, ‘Economic difficulty’ or ‘Remain the same’ for your country (2020 cf. 2021)

Economic Difficulty & Economic Prosperity

Source: Roy Morgan web surveys in Australia 2020 & 2021 with an average of 1,000 Australians aged 18+ interviewed in each year. Question: “Compared to this year, in your opinion, will next year be a year of economic prosperity, economic difficulty or remain the same for your country?”


Most people aged 18-34 & 65+ think 2022 will be a year of ‘Economic difficulty’

Analysing by age group shows younger Australians aged 18-34 and older Australians aged 65+ agree – most people in these age groups expect 2022 will be a year of ‘Economic difficulty’ – including 42% of peopled aged 18-24, 41% of people aged 25-34 and 36% of people aged 65+.

In contrast, there are pluralities of people aged in the middle who think 2022 will ‘Remain the same’ as 2021 in economic terms. Nearly half, 44%, of people aged 50-64 and nearly two-fifths (39%) of people aged 35-49 say 2022 will ‘Remain the same’ as 2021.

Although in a minority amongst all age groups, the most positive about 2022 are people at either end of the age scale with 25% of people aged 18-24 and 24% of people aged 65+ saying next year will be a year of ‘Economic prosperity’ – far higher than any other age groups.

When it comes to the two genders a plurality of 39% of men say next year will ‘Remain the same’ in economic terms while around a third, 34%, say it will be a year of ‘Economic difficulty’. Women are slightly more negative with 39% expecting a year of ‘Economic difficulty’ compared to 35% who say next year will ‘Remain the same’.


Analysis by Age & Gender – Will next year be a Year of ‘Economic Prosperity’, ‘Economic Difficulty’ or ‘Remain the same’

Economic Prosperity & Economic Difficulty By Gender & Age

Source: This special Roy Morgan web survey was conducted in late November with a cross-section of 1,184 Australians aged 18+.

Total

Australia

Gender

Age

Men

Women

18-24

25-34

35-49

50-64

65+

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Economic prosperity

19

23

16

25

16

17

17

24

Remain the same

37

39

35

27

34

39

44

35

Economic difficulty

37

34

39

42

41

38

31

36

Don’t know

7

4

10

6

9

6

8

5

TOTAL

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100


People in NSW, Victoria and Queensland predict 2022 will be a year of ‘Economic difficulty’

Analysing by State shows people in Queensland are the most likely to be negative on economic prospects for next year with 43% predicting a year of ‘Economic difficulty’ – a higher proportion than any other State. There are narrow pluralities in Tasmania (40%), Victoria (38%) and New South Wales (35%) that also predict next year will be a year of ‘Economic difficulty’.

In contrast, nearly half of the people in Western Australia (46%) and South Australia (45%) think in economic terms next year will ‘Remain the same’ as this year.

Similarly, to general views revealed yesterday on whether 2022 will be ‘better’ or ‘worse’ than 2021, it is people in New South Wales (22%) and Victoria (21%) who are the most likely to say next year will be a year of ‘Economic prosperity’. Those least likely to say this are in Tasmania (11%) and South Australia (13%).

Respondents in Australia’s Country Areas (39%) are slightly more likely than those in the Capital Cities (36%) to predict next year will be a year of ‘Economic difficulty’


Analysis by States & Regions – Will next year be a Year of ‘Economic Prosperity’, ‘Economic Difficulty’ or ‘Remain the same’

Economic Prosperity & Economic Difficulty by State & Region

Source: This special Roy Morgan web survey was conducted in late November with a cross-section of 1,184 Australians aged 18+.

City/ Country

States

Total

Australia

Capital
Cities

Country
Areas

NSW

VIC

QLD

WA

SA

TAS

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Economic prosperity

19

20

16

22

21

15

19

13

11

Remain the same

37

38

37

35

36

34

46

45

35

Economic difficulty

37

36

39

35

38

43

27

37

40

Don’t know

7

6

8

8

5

8

8

5

14

TOTAL

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100


Michele Levine, Chief Executive Officer Roy Morgan, says over a third of Australians (37%) expect 2022 will be a year of ‘Economic difficulty’ and only 19% think 2022 will be a year of ‘Economic prosperity’ – but another 37% are ‘hedging’ their bets and expecting more of the same:

“Although, as revealed yesterday, there are more Australians (37%) who say 2022 will be ‘better’ than 2021 compared to only 23% who say it will be ‘worse’ – this doesn’t mean Australians are expecting 2022 will be a great year – just comparatively better than 2021.

“This belief is borne out when one considers how people regard the performance of the Australian economy in 2022. Over a third (37%) say 2022 will be a year of ‘Economic difficulty’ nearly twice as many as the 19% who expect a year of ‘Economic prosperity’. Another 37% say in economic conditions in 2022 will ‘Remain the same’.

“The divergent viewpoints show that even as Australians look forward with a degree of optimism there is considerable economic uncertainty attached to what may happen next year. The biggest factors looming over next year are the Federal Election – due by May 2022 at the latest – and a range of closely related economic factors including inflation, interest rates and unemployment.

Roy Morgan’s monthly Inflation Expectations index shows the indicator at a seven year high of 4.9% in November 2021 – and up a record 1.5% points from a year ago. The sharp rises in Inflation Expectations show the issue is increasingly front of mind for many Australians and, although the RBA has said it has no plans to raise interest rates in 2022, there is a concern that if the inflation rate increases significantly next year, they will be forced to act earlier than expected.

“The RBA has stated that it will only consider raising interest rates when wages growth in the economy is clearly above 2% and when the ABS CPI figure is sustainably between 2-3%. In the most recent September quarter the ABS CPI annual rate of inflation dropped by 0.8% points from 3.8% in the year to June 2021 down to 3% in the year to September 2021.

“The sharp changes in inflation during this year are closely related to the COVID-19 pandemic and the many lockdowns different parts of Australia has dealt over the last 18 months. Although we are all hopeful, we have seen the last city-wide or state-wide lockdown, the emergence of the Omicron variant in recent weeks has added new economic uncertainty as we head into 2022.

“The lockdowns have also had a big impact on Australian employment levels but on each occasion when a lockdown has ended the economy has bounced back quickly. The latest Roy Morgan employment estimate for November show 13.2 million Australians were employed – up from 12.9 million employed in February 2020 pre-pandemic. November was the first month after the end of the recent lockdowns of over half of Australia’s population in NSW, Victoria, and the ACT.

“Considering all of the above uncertainties surrounding inflation, interest rates, unemployment, the potential for new variants of COVID-19 to emerge, and the added uncertainty surrounding an imminent Federal Election, it’s probably no surprise that Australians are more likely to expect ‘Economic difficulty’ next year rather than ‘Economic prosperity’.


Finding No. 8886– This special Roy Morgan web survey was conducted with a representative cross-section of 1,184 Australians on November 25 – 28, 2021. They were asked “Compared to this year, in your opinion, will next year be a year of economic prosperity, economic difficulty or remain the same for your country?”


Next Year – A year of ‘Economic Prosperity’, ‘Economic Difficulty’ or ‘Remaining the same’

“Compared to this year, in your opinion, will next year be a year of economic prosperity, economic difficulty or remain the same for your country?”

2020

2021

%

%

Economic prosperity

19

19

Remain the same

24

37

Economic difficulty

48

37

Don’t know

9

7

TOTAL

100

100