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Allianz Future Optimism Index: Queenslanders more pessimistic about the future of the economy and society than most other Australians

Sydney, 22 August 2011

Allianz has joined forces with Newspoll to conduct a survey which measures Australians’ level of optimism about the future of the economy, environment and society, as well as their overall happiness. The results for these four measures are combined to create the Allianz Future Optimism Index (FOI).

Economy Index

Queenslanders’ optimism about the future of the economy has fallen markedly over the course of 2011. Queensland’s score on the Economy Index of the Allianz FOI fell from 61 out of 100 in November 2010 to 56 in July 2011.

Queensland’s score is the lowest of all the Australian mainland States – see below:

Victoria 62
New South Wales 60
Western Australia 60
South Australia 58
Queensland 56

Queenslanders’ overall lack of optimism is even more stark when comparing the proportion of people that can be regarded as very pessimistic.

For example, one-fifth or 20% of Queenslanders are pressimistic about the future of the economy. This is more than double the number who were pessimistic in November 2010, when the figure was only 9% and broadly in line with the other mainland States.

In terms of the current (July 2011) State comparison, the big rise in Queenslanders’ level of pessimism about the future of the economy means there are around twice as many who are pessimistic compared to people living in Victoria and Western Australia. The proportion is also higher in Queensland when compared to South Australia and New South Wales – see below.

Queensland 20%
New South Wales 15%
South Australia 14%
Western Australia 11%
Victoria 9%

Commenting on the results, Allianz Managing Director, Terry Towell, said “the Queensland economy was impacted significantly in the first half of 2011 as a result of the damage caused by widespread flooding and Cyclone Yasi. The impact of these natural disasters appears to have taken its toll on Queenslanders’ optimism about the future of the economy.”

Society Index

The Allianz Future Optimism Index also measures Australians’ level of optimism about the future of society in relation to crime levels and community values. On the Society Index, Queenslanders report being more pessimistic about the future of society than most other Australians, with the interesting exception of West Australians. The list below shows the proportion of people that indicated they were pessimistic about the future of our society:

Western Australia 31%
Queensland 26%
Victoria 18%
New South Wales 17%
South Australia 15%

Background

The Newspoll survey on which the Allianz Future Optimism Indexes are based, asks around 1200 Australians to rate each of the following statements on a scale of 0-10, where 10 is extremely optimistic and 0 is not optimistic at all:

1. The future of the economy;
2. The future of the environment in relation to pollution and climate change;
3. The future of our society in relation to crime levels and community values;
4. The overall future prospects and happiness for you and your family.

The responses to these questions are multiplied by ten to obtain an equivalent score out of 100 and averaged to create an index score out of 100 for each question. The four subindices are then averaged to obtain the overall Allianz Future Optimism Index.

In the analysis of the survey, respondents that give a score of 8 or more out of 10 are regarded as being optimistic and those with a score of 3 or less out of 10 are regarded as being pessimistic. Results based on these definitions are given as a proportion of the demographic group in question (eg 30% of Australians are optimistic/pessimistic about the economy).

More detailed demographic and geographic results for the Allianz Future Optimism Index are available on request.

Allianz Australia

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Allianz Australia delivers a wide range of personal, commercial and corporate insurance products and services to more than 2 million policyholders. Over 50% of Australia’s top 200 BRW-listed companies have some form of insurance cover with the group and the group provides workers compensation services to around one-fifth of Australian employees.

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