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Nielsen data shows mounting cost of living concerns having big impact on Aussie purchase decisions and financial security

3 minute read | June 2023
  • Nearly 1 in 4 say interest rates are nation’s most pressing social issue
  • 6.8 million see economic growth as a significant social issue

Sydney – June 2, 2023 – Nielsen, a global leader in audience measurement, data and analytics, has released new Consumer and Media View data, which reveals a whopping 95% of Australians are worried about the cost of living – a 9% increase compared to 2021. Amplified by the recent surge in inflation and interest rate rises, cost of living concerns have significantly impacted purchase decisions, and look set to do so for the foreseeable future. 

Of most concern for Aussie consumers is the cost of everyday necessities, with 84% of respondents saying they’re particularly worried about the growing cost of petrol, utilities and groceries.

In fact, over the last three years, concern about the cost of groceries has surged by 34%, 42% for petrol, and 15% for gas, water and electricity.

These concerns appear well-founded, with the average weekly grocery shop rising from $140 to $153 over the last year. Consequently, 35% say they’re finding it difficult to make ends meet – a concerning 22% rise compared to three years ago.

Such pressures mean a substantial segment of the population are increasingly worried about their financial situation, with roughly 6.7 million Australians confessing they don’t feel financially secure. In addition, 73% of respondents say they’re already making plans to mitigate the potential impact of future economic fluctuations. 

As financial pressures mount, Australians are increasingly on the hunt for savings, with 69% revealing they actively seek out specials and bargains when shopping. As a result, brand loyalty in the food sector has declined, with 66% of respondents saying they frequently switch food brands if a rival offers a discount or has a better deal. 

This added financial stress means 42% of Australians now feel burdened by their responsibilities, and roughly 5.1 million Australians now consider interest rates to be the country’s most pressing social issue – a massive 160% increase over the last three years. 

6.8 million Australians (31%) also view economic growth as a significant social issue, showing the clear impact that cost of living concerns are having on what Australians now believe to be the nation’s key challenges. 

About Nielsen 

Nielsen shapes the world’s media and content as a global leader in audience measurement, data and analytics. Through our understanding of people and their behaviors across all channels and platforms, we empower our clients with independent and actionable intelligence so they can connect and engage with their audiences – now and into the future. Nielsen operates around the world in more than 55 countries. 

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Media Contact

Dan Chapman
Assoc. Director, Communications, Nielsen APAC
+61 404 088 462


Nielsen CMV, April 2020-March 2021, April 2022-March 2023, base: All People 14+