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Australian consumers spend more on groceries despite higher housing costs

More than half of Australian consumers are spending more on food and groceries despite facing higher expenses on housing, according to a report by the Monash Business School’s Australian Consumer and Retail Studies (ACRS). 

This is the second year that the ACRS has conducted the survey.

Led by Dr Eloise Zoppos, the survey aims to determine consumers’ retail attitudes towards the cost of living pressures and how their purchasing habits have changed since last year. 

According to the report, 57 per cent of participants said they spent more on groceries than last year, with 58 per cent viewing grocery prices as unfair. Meanwhile, 62 per cent of shoppers confirmed they spent more on housing costs, including rent, mortgage, and utility bills, compared to last year.

It also found that 58 per cent of shoppers are holding off or deferring purchases until sales or special deals, up from the previous year. Additionally, 82 per cent of respondents are saving at least a portion of their monthly income, while 18 per cent are choosing not to save at all.

The most popular savings methods were:

  • Traditional savings accounts (71 per cent).
  • High-interest savings accounts (28 per cent).
  • Shares (24 per cent).
  • Physical cash (20 per cent).
  • Fixed-interest investments (19 per cent).

“Compared to the same time last year, many Australian shoppers report that they are spending more across essential categories,” said Dr Zoppos. 

“It is clear that many Aussies are revisiting their usual spending habits, so this year, we also asked Australian shoppers about their saving habits.”

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