Finance Finance News Anxiety rates jump in Tassie on health and financial worries

Anxiety rates jump in Tassie on health and financial worries

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Australians have chilled out in the lead up to Christmas, with anxiety levels falling across the nation – everywhere but Tasmania.

Tasmania has gone from being the least anxious state to the most anxious state in a matter of three months, according to the latest National Australia Bank consumer anxiety index.

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There’s no obvious reason why, but Tasmanians have become more anxious about their health, ability to fund retirement, cost of living and government policy, NAB economists said.

Consumer anxiety overall fell to its lowest level since mid-2013, improving for the second quarter in a row, Tuesday’s figures showed.

Cost of living and government policy remained the biggest source of anxiety for Australians in the December quarter, although the level of concern had eased since the September quarter.

Easing concerns meant people were loosening the purse strings when it came to buying non-essentials, NAB economists said.

“Changes in spending behaviour are still being dominated by `essentials’ such as utilities, paying off debt, transport and medical services,” they said.

“But with the holiday season approaching it appears that Australian consumers have also shifted some of their spending preferences towards `non-essentials’, particularly home improvements, travel and entertainment.”

The survey also found concerns about job security had improved in every state except NSW/ACT, despite ongoing weakness in the jobs market, rising unemployment and weak economic growth.

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