Inflation concern remains high among New Zealanders

The number of New Zealanders who are struggling financially is on the rise, with 26% indicating that they are finding it difficult to manage financially (up from 20% in the previous wave in May 2022), according to the latest Ipsos New Zealand Global Advisor Inflation report.

The most recent (February 2022) release of the Ipsos New Zealand Issues Monitor found that concern about inflation/cost of living is continuing to intensify, with nearly two in three New Zealanders identifying it as a key issue facing the country.

A statement from Ipsos says New Zealanders’ continuing concern about inflation / cost of living is reflected in the report.

Key findings include:

• Fewer New Zealanders describe themselves as living comfortably or doing all right financially (43%, down from 46% last wave).

• Most New Zealanders (86%) are concerned about the cost of goods and services increasing over the next six months. Additionally, 63% are concerned about their ability to buy the things they are used to buying, and 52% are concerned about their ability to pay the bills.

• Half of New Zealanders (54%) believe unemployment will rise over the next 12 months – a significant increase compared to 42% last wave.

• Despite a considerable drop from the previous survey, the majority of New Zealanders still believe that the rate of inflation (71%) and interest rates (69%) will rise in the next year.

  • Compared to others around the world, significantly more New Zealanders are expecting to spend more on food shopping / groceries (88%, cf. 66% global average), other household shopping (80%, cf. 70%), utilities (78%, cf. 73%), fuel (75%, cf. 72%), and socialising (6%, cf. 57%) over the next 6 months.

• The vast majority of New Zealanders believe price increases are result of the state of the global economy (84%), our interest rate level (80%), the Russian invasion of Ukraine (71%), and the Covid pandemic (70%).

• New Zealanders are also significantly more likely than others around the world to attribute the rising cost of living to interest rate level (80%, cf. 68% global average), the state of the global economy (84%, cf. 74%), the Covid pandemic (70%, cf. 61%) and businesses making excessive profits (66%, cf. 62%).

• New Zealanders are more likely to expect a pay rise from their current employer (53%) than the global average (45%) and are less likely to look for a new job (40%, cf. 44%).

Carin Hercock, Managing Director, Ipsos New Zealand, says that concerns around inflation are at a record high and the report shows that the majority of New Zealanders believe the situation will get worse.

“While less New Zealanders believe that the rate of inflation will rise in the next 12-months compared to a year ago, we see that nine out of 10 New Zealanders believe that they will need to spend more to put food on the table in the next 12 months, that is significantly higher than the average of 36 other countries Ipsos monitors.”

Amanda Dudding, Research Director, Public Affairs, Ipsos New Zealand, notes that it’s “a real worry to see that half the population are concerned about their ability to pay their bills over the next six months and a quarter are finding it difficult to manage their finances.”

The firm says its Ipsos Global Advisor Study regularly asks respondents from around the world, including New Zealand, for their views on different topics. More than 20,000 people across 36 countries were surveyed. In New Zealand, 1,002 people aged 18+ participated in this survey.

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