Essential Report

The Economy – Heading in the Right/Wrong Direction

Mar 26, 2012

Q. Overall, from what you have read and heard, do you think the Australian economy is heading in the right direction or the wrong direction?

 

17 May 10

(Post 2010 budget)

9 May 11

(Post 2011 budget)

4 Jul 11

26 Mar 12

Vote Labor

Vote Liberal/ National

Vote Greens

The right direction

51%

45%

37%

36%

65%

19%

47%

The wrong direction

25%

29%

43%

41%

15%

64%

23%

Don’t know

24%

25%

20%

22%

21%

17%

30%

36% of respondents think that Australia’s economy is heading in the right direction – 41% think it is heading in the wrong direction. Opinions have changed little since this question was asked in July last year – “right direction” has dropped 1% and “wrong direction” dropped 2%.

65% of Labor voters, 19% of Liberal/National voters and 47% of Greens voters think the economy is heading in the right direction.

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Party Best at Handling Economy

Mar 26, 2012

Q. Which party do you think would be best at handling the Australian economy in the interests of you and people like you?

 

4 Jul 11

26 Mar 12

Vote Labor

Vote Lib/Nat

Vote Greens

The Labor Party

26%

29%

76%

1%

39%

The Liberal Party

43%

41%

2%

89%

7%

No difference

23%

20%

14%

7%

45%

Don’t know

8%

10%

7%

4%

9%

 

41% (down 2% since July last year) think the Liberal Party would be best at handling the Australian economy in their interests and 29% (up 3%) nominated the Labor Party. 20% think there is no difference.

There were significant differences by income – those earning under $600pw split 38% Labor/30% Liberal while those earning over $1,600pw favoured the Liberal Party 49% to 23% Labor.

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Impact of Dollar on Industry

Mar 26, 2012

Q. The Australian dollar is now at $1.05 US and has been historically higher than the normal range of 60c-80c US. Is the high Australian dollar good or bad for the following industries?

 

Total good

Total bad

Very good

Good

Neither good nor bad

Bad

Very bad

Don’t know

Mining industry

29%

29%

10%

19%

20%

24%

5%

22%

Farming & Grazing Industry

16%

49%

4%

12%

16%

36%

13%

19%

Finance Industry

38%

15%

9%

29%

25%

12%

3%

21%

Construction Industry

24%

26%

4%

20%

28%

22%

4%

23%

Manufacturing industry

15%

50%

3%

12%

14%

29%

21%

20%

Retail Industry

23%

47%

6%

17%

14%

30%

17%

16%

Australian Tourism Industry

20%

56%

8%

12%

10%

31%

25%

14%

Overall, respondents think that the high Australian dollar has only been good for the finance industry (38% good/15% bad).

They believe that it has been particularly bad for the tourism industry (20% good/56% bad), the manufacturing industry (15%/50%), the farming and grazing industry (16%/49%) and the retail industry (23%/47%)

On the mining industry, they were split 29% good/29% bad.

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Impact of Mining Boom and Dollar

Mar 26, 2012

Q. Has the mining boom and the high dollar been good or bad for –

 

Total good

Total bad

Very good

Good

Neither good nor bad

Bad

Very bad

Don’t know

The economy generally

52%

12%

11%

41%

22%

10%

2%

15%

Jobs generally

42%

18%

8%

34%

26%

15%

3%

14%

You personally

23%

10%

5%

18%

55%

8%

2%

10%

A majority (52%) think that the mining boom and the high dollar has been good for the economy and are more likely to think it has been good for jobs (42% good/18% bad).

61% of Labor voters, 53% of Greens voters and 51% of Coalition voters think it has been good for the economy.

55% think it has been neither good nor bad for them personally. For those on incomes over $1,600pw, 32% think it has been good for them personally and 9% bad.

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2012 Outlook – Economy and Family

Dec 19, 2011

Q. Thinking about the next 12 months, do you think 2012 will be a good or bad year for each of the following?

Total good

Dec 10

Total bad

Dec10

Total good Total bad Very good Good Neither good nor bad Bad Very bad Don’t know/Not applicable
The Australian economy 48% 16% 29% 35% 3% 26% 32% 28% 7% 3%
Your personal financial situation 39% 20% 33% 27% 4% 29% 38% 20% 7% 2%
Your workplace * 47% 16% 45% 20% 6% 39% 36% 15% 5% 2%
You and your family overall 51% 14% 52% 16% 10% 42% 30% 12% 4% 2%

* based on working people

Overall, respondents were optimistic that 2012 would be a good year for themselves overall (52%) and their workplace (45%). They tended to be less optimistic about their financial situation (33% good/27% bad) and somewhat pessimistic about the Australian economy (29%/35%).

Compared to expectations 12 months ago, respondents were much less optimistic about the Australian economy (48% good last year compared to 29% good this year) and also rather less optimistic about their own financial situation (39%/20% last year compared to 33%/27% this year).

When compared with last week’s questions on perceptions of 2011, these figures suggest that respondents expect 2012 to be better than 2011 for themselves and their family (net +36% for next year compared to net +24% for this year), a little better for their workplace (+25% next year, +20% last year) and their own financial situation (+6% next year, -2% this year). The Australian economy is expected to be a little worse in 2012 (-6% next year compared to +2% last year).

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Performance of Australian Economy

Dec 19, 2011

Q. How do you think the Australian economy is performing in comparison to other developed countries?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Total better 73% 84% 72% 80%
Total worse 7% 3% 8% 1%
A lot better 27% 44% 19% 32%
A little better 46% 40% 53% 48%
About the same 16% 13% 16% 12%
A little worse 5% 2% 5% 1%
A lot worse 2% 1% 3%
Don’t know 4% 1% 3% 6%

If ‘a lot better’ or ‘a little better’ –

Q. How much credit do the following deserve for the current performance of Australia’s economy?

A lot Some A little None Don’t know
The Federal Labor Government 18% 31% 23% 21% 6%
The previous Coalition Government 21% 31% 26% 15% 6%
The booming resources sector 47% 31% 12% 3% 7%
The Reserve Bank 6% 42% 29% 13% 9%

73% think that the Australian economy is performing better than other developed countries and only 7% think it is performing worse.

Respondents give most credit for the performance of the economy to the booming resources sector (78% a lot or some credit). They give similar credit to the Labor Government (49%) and the previous Coalition Government (52%).

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The Past Year – The Economy and Industries

Dec 12, 2011

Q. Thinking about the last 12 months, has it been a good or bad year for each of the following?

Total good

(Dec 10

Total bad

(Dec 10)

Total good Total bad Very good Good Neither good nor bad Bad Very bad Don’t know
The banks 69% 13% 71% 8% 35% 36% 16% 6% 2% 4%
The mining industry 57% 14% 68% 11% 34% 34% 15% 8% 3% 6%
Large companies and corporations 44% 15% 40% 22% 8% 32% 32% 18% 4% 6%
The Australian economy 41% 20% 33% 31% 4% 29% 32% 24% 7% 3%
The media 30% 14% 25% 27% 6% 19% 37% 19% 8% 10%
Farming and agriculture 14% 50% 23% 40% 2% 21% 30% 28% 12% 7%
The environment 14% 37% 20% 33% 3% 17% 41% 24% 9% 6%
Small business 14% 45% 10% 61% 1% 9% 24% 42% 19% 6%

A majority of respondents think it has been a good year for the banks (71%) and the mining industry (68%). They are also more likely to think it has been a good year for large companies and corporations (40% good/22% bad) and the economy (33%/31%). However, they are more likely to think the year has been bad for small business (61%), farming and agriculture (40%) and the environment (33%).

In terms of the economy, Labor voters (50% good/18% bad) and Greens voters (47%/15%) were more likely to think it has been a good year – while 45% of Liberal/National voters considered it poor and 23% good.

Compared to last years’ results, respondents considered 2011 a better year than 2010 for the mining industry (up 11% to 68% good), farming and agriculture (up 9% to 23%) and the environment (up 6% to 20%). Perceptions of the economy dropped from a net +21% to +2%.

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Economic Prosperity

Oct 17, 2011

Q. Which one of the following do you believe will be the most important factor in Australia’s economic prosperity over the next 20 years?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
A strong resources sector 29% 29% 35% 18%
Continued growth in China and India 21% 23% 22% 24%
Investment in skills 20% 22% 16% 23%
Prioritising innovation and technology 18% 18% 13% 31%
A strong banking and finance sector 12% 9% 13% 5%

29% believe that a strong resources sector will be the most important factor in Australia’s economic prosperity over the next 20 years and 21% nominate the continued growth in China and India. Labor and Coalition voters were more likely to niominate “a strong resources sector” while 31% of Greens voters nominated “prioritising innovation and technology”.

Those on higher incomes were more likely to nominate “a strong resources sector “  – 36% of those on income $1,600+ pw.

There were no major differences by age group.

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