A recent survey by a major bank indicates that household financial stress has reached its highest level in eight years.

According to a survey conducted by the National Australia Bank (NAB), Australians are experiencing a level of unease reminiscent of the early days of the pandemic.

NAB’s chief economist, Alan Oster, remarked, “Essentially, it’s indicating that wellbeing has regressed to previous lows. So people are still very much concerned about their livelihoods.”

The survey, which polled thousands of Australians, gauged satisfaction levels with various aspects of their lives. Results showed the lowest levels of satisfaction with the federal government, the economy, and key financial aspects such as retirement funding, household income, and overall financial position.

“It indicates that people are still apprehensive about managing through [potential interest rate] hikes,” Mr. Oster observed. “The economic landscape remains challenging, and anxiety levels persist.”

Mr. Oster emphasized that household financial stress has reached its highest point in eight years. With incomes feeling the squeeze, the survey found that 80% of Australians are prioritizing saving over spending.

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