Essential Report

Cause of Interest Rate Rises

Nov 9, 2009

Q. Which of the following statements most closely reflects your opinion on the cause of the recent increase in official interest rates?

%
The Reserve Bank independently sets interest rates to avoid inflation 30%
It’s just a correction to the historic low interest rates during the Global Financial Crisis 18%
The Federal Government has managed the economy well and the rate increase is a sign of a strong economy 15%
The Federal Government has managed the economy badly and so rates are rising 9%
The world economy is the biggest factor in interest rates, not the Australian economy 9%
House prices are rising and pushing up interest rates 5%
Don’t know 15%

When it comes to what the public perceive are the causes of the recent increase in official interest rates, 30% think that the Reserve Bank independently sets interest rates to avoid inflation and 18% think that interest rate rises are a correction to the historic low interest rates during the Global Financial Crisis.  15% think that the Federal Government has managed the economy well and the rate increase is a sign of a strong economy.

Only 9% think it is because the Government has managed the economy badly.

Coalition voters were more likely to think that the Reserve Bank independently setting interest rates to avoid inflation is the cause of the recent increase in interest rates (39%).  Labor voters were more likely to think the increase in interest rates is because the Federal Government has managed the economy well and the rate increase is a sign of a strong economy (28%).  Green voters were more likely to think the recent interest rate rises are just a correction to the historic low interest rates during the Global Financial Crisis (24%).

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Economic Conditions in Australia

Nov 9, 2009

Q. Over the next 12 months do you think economic conditions in Australia will get better, get worse or stay much the same?

Just over half (53%) think that over the next 12 months, economic conditions in Australia will get better, 23% think they will get worse and 21% think they will stay much the same.

The number of people that think economic conditions in Australia will get better over the next 12 months has decreased thirteen percentage points since we last asked this question in October this year, and the number that think economic conditions will get worse has increased eight percentage points.  However, the current results are very similar to the August survey results and considerably more positive than results recorded up to June.

Labor voters were more likely to think economic conditions will get better (65%), Coalition voters were more likely to think they will get worse (30%) and Green voters were more likely to think conditions will stay much the same (34%).

People earning $1600 per week or more were more likely to think economic conditions will get better (60%), while people earning $600 – $1000 per week were more likely to think they will get worse (32%).

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