Allianz Future Optimism Index: Australians’ optimism rebounds after Federal Election

Allianz Future Optimism Index: Australians’ optimism rebounds after Federal Election

Sydney, 30 September 2013

Australians’ optimism about the future of the economy has rebounded following the Federal election.
The rise in optimism was greatest in Western Australia.
Optimism rose most among those aged 65 or more.
Optimism rose among both men and women but was particularly apparent among men.

Allianz Australia Managing Director, Niran Peiris, said “Australians’ optimism about the future of the economy has rebounded strongly following the Federal election. After rising to a 12-month high in February, optimism slumped following the May Federal Budget and stayed subdued until the September survey, which was conducted on the weekend after the Federal election.”

“Optimism generally rose across the country with the exception of South Australians who appear unmoved by the change of Federal Government. The biggest rises in economic optimism occurred in Western Australia, which historically has usually been the most optimistic State.”
“The rise in optimism about the future of the economy was particularly apparent among Australians aged 65 and over, who are now more optimistic about the economy than at any time during the last three years.”

“While optimism rose among both men and women, there was a stronger rise in optimism about the future of the economy among men.”

Survey results

All Australians

After hitting a 12-month high in February with an Index Score of 12, optimism about the future of the economy slumped following the Federal Budget in May to a score of 5 (not shown below) and stayed at subdued levels in July. With a score of 13, the post-election Index Score has rebounded to February’s levels and in pure numerical terms is at the highest score since early 2011.

Optimism Index for All Australians

Optimism by State

Optimism about the future of the economy has risen in most States, with the exception of South Australia. Queensland’s traditional mantle as Australia’s least optimistic State appears to have been taken by South Australia.

The biggest rise in optimism occurred in Western Australia, which has traditionally been the most optimistic State.

Optimism Index by State

Optimism by Age

The rise in optimism about the future of the economy was driven by those aged 65 and over, which contrasted starkly with younger Australians aged 18 to 34 whose optimism score has shown no increase at all.

Optimism Index by Age

Optimism by Gender

The rise in economic optimism occurred across gender lines but was more apparent among men, who saw a ten point rise in their Index Score.

Optimism Index by Gender

Background

Allianz and Newspoll conduct a bi-monthly survey which measures Australians’ level of optimism about the future of the economy, environment and society, as well as their overall happiness. Optimism indexes in each of these four areas are created to measure changes in optimism over time and differences in optimism among those in different demographic groups.

Respondents’ score their level of optimism on a scale from zero to ten. Those that score between zero and three are regarded as pessimists and those that score between eight and ten as optimists. Those that score between four and seven are regarded as neutral.

The net result of deducting the proportion of pessimists from the proportion of optimists gives the relevant Optimism Index. A positive Optimism Index results if the number of optimists exceeds the number of pessimists, and the reverse results in a negative Optimism Index.

About the Allianz Future Optimism Index

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.

Respondents’ score their level of optimism on a scale from zero to ten. Those that score between zero and three are regarded as pessimists and those that score between eight and ten as optimists. Those that score between four and seven are regarded as neutral.

The net result of deducting the proportion of pessimists from the proportion of optimists gives the relevant Optimism Index. An Optimism Index of 100 would result if all respondents scored between eight and ten and an Index of minus 100 if they all scored between zero and three.

A positive Optimism Index results if the number of optimists exceeds the number of pessimists and the reverse results in a negative Optimism Index.

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

The latest survey was conducted by telephone among a national sample of 1200 adults aged 18+. Fieldwork was conducted over the period of the 13-15 September 2013 and results were post-weighted using the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics population estimates.

Allianz Australia

Large General Insurance Company of the Year 2013, 2012, 2011, 2009*
General Insurance Company of the Year 2012, 2010, 2007,2006**

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.

*Australia & New Zealand Insurance Industry Awards
**Australian Banking and Finance Insurance Awards