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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Fuel and groceries among top cost-of-living pressures

Fuel, food, groceries and electricity top the list of cost concerns in Choice’s latest national Consumer Pulse Report, with 65 per cent of consumers saying they cut back to cope with increases in the cost of living.

The consumer group’s fifth quarterly survey provides a full year of data tracking household pressures and, for the first time, found rising concern across every major household expense, with electricity, fuel, food and groceries topping the list.

“Households are feeling increased pressure across the board, with 85 per cent of Australians saying their household bills and expenses had increased over the year,” Choice CEO Alan Kirkland said. “Electricity remained the biggest cost concern for the fifth consecutive quarter.

“Concern over fuel prices has surged from 69 per cent in March to 78 per cent in June, and now sits alongside food and groceries as the second biggest pressure. This reflects last week’s CPI figures, which showed the largest quarterly rise in fuel prices since December 1990, offsetting a big fall in the previous quarter.”

The report found that cost pressures are not evenly distributed, with renters, low-income households and the unemployed most likely to be struggling, and families with school-aged kids the group most concerned about rising household expenses.

While few are positive about the state of the Australian economy, people in NSW were found to be much more optimistic, with nearly four in 10 people in the state saying the economy is good, compared with around a quarter in all other states.

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