Roy Morgan Research
May 14, 2024

Roy Morgan Update May 14, 2024: ALP Support unchanged, Consumer Confidence & Unemployment

Topic: Press Release
Finding No: 9714
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In this week's Update, we present the latest data on Primary Voting Intention, Consumer Confidence and Unemployment.

Welcome to the Roy Morgan Weekly Update.

The Albanese Labor Government retained the lead for the fourth week in a row - with support unchanged on 52% ahead of the Coalition on 48% on a two-party preferred basis.

If an election were held now the ALP would be re-elected with a slim majority - as they have now, the latest Roy Morgan Poll shows.

The key weekly indicators had mixed results this week after the Reserve Bank left interest rates unchanged last week and before today’s pre-election Federal Budget is handed down.

Government Confidence improved this week, but is still low, and Consumer Confidence continued to languish.

Government Confidence is 77.5 – up 4 points in a week – a positive movement, but the Albanese Government must be concerned that a majority of Australians, 54%, say the country is heading in the wrong direction – while less than a third, only 31.5%, say the country is heading in the right direction.

As a result, Roy Morgan Government Confidence remains well below the neutral level of 100.

There was no improvement in Consumer Confidence with ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence, virtually unchanged at 80.2 this week.

Longer-term, Consumer Confidence has now spent a record 67 weeks below the level of 85. Looking back over the last few months, Consumer Confidence has now moved in a narrow band of 80-85 over the last 23 weeks (over five months) since early December.

A major driver of the low level of Consumer Confidence is the low level of buying intentions – when consumers are confident they think it’s a good time to buy – if they are not confident they think it is a bad time to buy.

A majority of 52% of Australians (up 3% in a week) say now is a ‘bad time to buy major household items, only 19% (down 2%) say now is a ‘good time to buy major household items’.

This is a net rating of -32.9% – the lowest so far this year – after the Reserve Bank left interest rates unchanged at a 12-year high of 4.35% and before this week’s Federal Budget.

Many will be hoping there is some relief from cost of living pressures in the Federal Budget which could provide a boost to Consumer Confidence in the months ahead.

In better news, Inflation Expectations were down 0.2% to 4.8% this week. Australians now expect annual Inflation to be 4.8% over the next two years.

Like Consumer Confidence, Inflation Expectations have stayed within a narrowband of 4.8% to 5.3% since early December.

For most Australians petrol prices are the single most visible sign of inflation and cost of living and this week there has been a second straight fall in average retail petrol prices – now down 13 cents a litre in the last two weeks.

Despite the fall, average retail petrol prices have now spent a record 44 weeks (more than ten months and since mid-July 2023) above $1.80 per litre.

More recently, over the last 15 weeks since late January, average retail petrol prices have averaged $2 per litre.

And finally this week to the Australian employment markets.

There is bad news with the labour force at the moment, although over 14 million Australians are now employed (418,000 more than a year ago), the latest Roy Morgan headline real unemployment figure for April is up 1% to 9.7% - Roy Morgan estimates over 1.5 million Australians are now unemployed – the highest figure so far this year.

There is also a continuing high level of ‘under-employment’ (part time workers wanting more hours). Unchanged at 10.1% in April – now 1.59 million people are under-employed.

The overall figures show total unemployment and under-employment – what we might call workforce under-utilisation – was 19.8% of the workforce in April – over 3.1 million people.

This is the highest level of labour under-utilisation we have seen in the Australian workforce for over three years – since the early days of the pandemic in October 2020.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size Percentage Estimate
40% – 60% 25% or 75% 10% or 90% 5% or 95%
1,000 ±3.0 ±2.7 ±1.9 ±1.3
5,000 ±1.4 ±1.2 ±0.8 ±0.6
7,500 ±1.1 ±1.0 ±0.7 ±0.5
10,000 ±1.0 ±0.9 ±0.6 ±0.4
20,000 ±0.7 ±0.6 ±0.4 ±0.3
50,000 ±0.4 ±0.4 ±0.3 ±0.2

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