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Australians aren’t expecting a good 2022, says report

Australians are not expecting 2022 to be any better than the past 12 months, according to a special survey completed by Roy Morgan.

Australians aren’t expecting a good 2022, says report
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The survey, taken in late November, shows only 37 per cent of Australians think 2022 will be ‘better’ than 2021, down a large 22 percentage points from when the same question was asked a year ago in late 2020.

However, fewer than a quarter of Australians (23 per cent), think 2022 will be ‘worse’ than 2021, although this is up 13 per cent points on a year ago.

Surprisingly, after months of lockdowns, people in Victoria (46 per cent) and NSW (44 per cent) are the most positive about the new year with clear pluralities in both states expecting 2022 will be ‘better’ than 2021.

However, only 29 per cent of people in Queensland, 24 per cent of people in Western Australia, 22 per cent of people in South Australia and 20 per cent of people in Tasmania say 2022 will be ‘better’ than 2021. In three states, Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania, more people say 2022 will be ‘worse’ than 2021.

Older Australians are the most positive about 2022 – 52 per cent expect it will be ‘better’ than 2021 with those in the 65+ age group being the most positive.

The second most positive are at the other end of the age scale with 42 per cent of Australians aged 18-24 saying 2022 will be ‘better’ than 2021, compared with 29 per cent who say it will be ‘worse’.

When it comes to gender, men are more positive about next year than women, with 40 per cent of men expecting 2022 will be ‘better’ than 2021, compared with only 34 per cent of women.

Michele Levine, chief executive of Roy Morgan, said the emergence of the highly infectious ‘Omicron variant’ in recent weeks has unfortunately put paid to hopes that 2022 would be the year Australians returned to a pre-pandemic sense of ‘normality’.

“Australians are set to enter 2022 in a mixed state-of-mind with new outbreaks of COVID-19 spreading rapidly in NSW and Victoria over the last week as restrictions have been eased in both states in the run-up to Christmas,” she said.

“The numbers are less encouraging than a year ago as Australia enjoyed a relatively COVID-free summer in 2020-21 and with new vaccines set to arrive from February 2021 it appeared the COVID-19 pandemic might soon be over.

“There are considerable uncertainties about the economic outlook for next year with Inflation Expectations now at a seven-year high of 4.9 per cent in November. The threat of inflation looms over 2022 as supply chain issues, as well as strong demand worldwide as we – hopefully – emerge from the pandemic put upward pressure on prices. In Australia there is also the added uncertainty of a federal election with campaigning set to dominate the first half of next year and the country’s first ‘hung parliament’ for a decade remains a clear possibility.”

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