There has been an abrupt shift in consumer psychology which has implications for government policy, the Reserve Bank, and business decision makers. Economic pessimism has increased and the level of belief in climate change has lifted.
These changes seem to be at odds with the federal government’s “sticking to our policy” mantra. The heightened expectation of a rise in unemployment is inconsistent with the Reserve Bank’s hope for a decline in the unemployment rate to 4.5%. Other shifts in consumer psychology are more positive and provide an opportunity to boost consumer spending growth.
The level of belief in imminent climate change in late 2019 is the second-highest recorded and is slightly higher than in 2007, when John Howard lost his seat in parliament and his government lost office.
The federal government and many businesses need to take more decisive action on climate change to satisfy voter (and customer) expectations.
For several years, prominent Australian economist Ross Garnaut has warned of “the great Australian complacency” which has significantly slowed Australia’s economic growth rate. That description clearly also applies to the issue of climate change.
As the new decade dawns, more Australians are experiencing the costs of these policy complacencies.
Our tracking survey update was in field in November and early December 2019.
A summary report is available at foreseechange.com.au.