28 February 2019
With 2019 well underway, Industry SuperFund-owned bank ME looks at five big trends highlighted in its latest Household Financial Comfort Report that are likely to benefit household finances this year.
1. The job market is improving
The national unemployment rate fell to 5% in December 2018, compared to 5.6% in December 2017, and the national under-utilisation rate, that is the percentage of the labour force that is unemployed or underemployed, was down from 14% a year ago to 13.4% in December 2018.
2. Incomes are rising
Wages rose by 2.3% for the year to September 2018, the highest increase since 2015 and the proportion of households reporting income increases rose four points to 38%, its highest level in three years. Sure it’s not a king’s ransom, but extra money in our wallets is always welcome.
3. Living costs are easing
Fuel costs have dropped since last October and if you have young children, the government’s revamped childcare subsidy could see you better off to the tune of $1,333 annually per child.
4. Positive housing outlook
Just 13% of home owners expect property values to fall in 2019. Renters have reasons to smile too, with rents in some parts of Sydney dropping by almost 10% in the past year. Not surprisingly, ME found the comfort gap between property owners and renters has narrowed for the first time since 2011.
5. Saving is the hot new trend
ME’s research shows 51% of households are growing savings. That’s the highest level since ME launched the Household Financial Comfort Report in 2011. Even better, average monthly savings have risen by 7% to $862 in the last six months.
To make the most of these exciting developments, head to ME’s free online school of money Ed. You’ll find all the tips you need to forge ahead financially in 2019.
This article is brought to you by ME. For more information, please visit mebank.com.au
Members Equity Bank Limited ABN 56 070 887 679.
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