As one of the first studies to investigate how consumers are travelling after the August rate rise, the research indicates that consumers are responding to any threat of economic uncertainty the old-fashioned way - by saving. Consumers have also adopted sensible attitudes in using their tax cuts, with 16% citing they would save the windfall, while 15% would service their debt and 5% would invest it.
"While Australians don't believe that the August interest rate hike will affect their lifestyle or weekly budget, it is reassuring to see that more than one in three Australian households are choosing to spend 'the Treasurer's pay packet increase' wisely," said Lisa Claes, ING Direct's executive director sales and operations.
Notwithstanding the growth in average mortgage sizes over the past year, Australians are still moving onwards and upwards in the realm of home ownership. The study uncovered 35-40% of respondents who said they were saving for a new home or to carry out renovations or improvements to their existing home. It seems that not even a rate rise can put Australians off saving up for their favourite discretionary expenditure items - 45% cited the number one reason for saving was to fund a holiday.
Meanwhile, a PRD Nationwide consumer sentiment poll has found that only a slim majority of consumers are expecting a further interest rate rise before the year is out, while 41% believe that rates will remain unchanged.
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