Next Year – Better or Worse? Australians largely negative on prospects for 2020

What’s ahead for our economy in 2020?

2019 was a difficult year – what will 2020 bring?

Well…a special Roy Morgan web survey shows that 40% of Australians think 2020 will be ‘worse’ than 2019.2020

This represents a significant increase of 26% points from a year ago and is the highest figure for nearly three decades since 1990 – during the midst of Australia’s last recession.

In addition a record low 12% of Australians think 2020 will be ‘better’ than 2019 while 41% (up 9%) say 2020 (down 32% from a year ago) will be about the same and 7% (down 3%) don’t know.

The net negative rating of 28% points is the largest negative gap in the survey’s history going back nearly forty years.

This exceeds the previous record gap of a net negative rating of 16% points in 1990 when 33% expected the next year (1991) would be better and 49% expected it to be worse.

Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine reflects on the mood of Australians as we head towards 2020 and notes that pessimism about the future has rarely been so pronounced:

“Australians are facing 2020 with a large degree of pessimism about prospects for the new year. Only 12% of Australians expect next year will be ‘better’ than this year while 40% – the highest since 1990 – expect next year will be ‘worse’.

“Pessimism is widespread with at least 40% of respondents in Australia’s two largest States of New South Wales and Victoria, as well as Tasmania, expecting next year to be worse. The trend is the same across age groups with at least 40% of everyone aged 25 or older expecting a ‘worse’ year in 2020.

“The youngest Australians aged 18-24 are the most positive about 2020 but even then only 16% of this age group expect a ‘better’ year in 2020 and around twice as many (31%) expect 2020 to be ‘worse.’

“In a portent of the low expectations surrounding 2020 the final ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence Rating for 2019 came in at 108.0 – the lowest Consumer Confidence rating to end a year for over a decade since 2008 during the midst of the Global Financial Crisis.”


Next Year – Better or Worse?

Next Year Better or Worse - 2020 cf. 2019

Source: Roy Morgan telephone, SMS and web surveys in Australia 1980-2019 with an average of 1,000 Australians aged 18+ interviewed each year. Question: “As far as you are concerned, do you think 2020 will be better, worse, or the same as 2019?”


Analysis by Age & Gender – Next Year ‘Better’ or ‘Worse’

Next Year Better or Worse - 2020 cf. 2019

Source: This special Roy Morgan web survey was conducted in October with a cross-section of 1,043 Australians aged 18+.

Slightly more men (41%) than women (40%) expect 2020 will be ‘worse’ than 2019, although there are also more men (14%) that say 2020 will be ‘better’ than 2019 than women (10%).

Analysing by age group shows younger people are the least pessimistic about 2020 – although all age groups expect 2020 will be ‘worse’ than 2019.

Over a third of 18-24 year olds (37%) expect 2020 will be ‘worse’ than 2019 with this figure exceeding 40% for all older age groups and peaking at 43% for 50-64 year olds.

Only a sixth of 18-24 year olds (16%) expect 2020 will be ‘better’ than 2019 although this is higher than for all older age groups. Only 8% of 25-34 year olds expect 2020 will be ‘better’ than 2019 – the lowest of any age group.

Analysis by Age & Gender – Next Year ‘Better’ or ‘Worse’

Total

Australia

Gender Age
Men Women 18-24 25-34 35-49 50-64 65+
% % % % % % % %
Better 12 14 10 16 8 10 12 11
Same 41 40 41 37 42 41 43 42
Worse 40 41 40 31 42 46 41 41
Don’t know 7 5 9 16 8 3 4 6
TOTAL 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100

 

Analysis by States & Regions – Next Year ‘Better’ or ‘Worse’

Next Year Better or Worse - 2020 cf. 2019

Source: This special Roy Morgan web survey was conducted in October with a cross-section of 1,043 Australians aged 18+.

Analysing by State shows respondents in all States are more negative about 2020 compared to 2019. Western Australia And Northern Territory

Residents of New South Wales are the most pessimistic about 2020 with nearly half, 47%, expecting 2020 will be ‘worse’ than 2019 followed by 44% of Tasmanians and 40% of Victorians.

Optimism is in short supply around Australia and with only one-seventh of respondents in Queensland (14%) and Victoria (14%) expecting 2020 will be ‘better’ than 2019 these two States have a higher proportion of optimists than any others.

Respondents in the Country (42%) are marginally more pessimistic about 2020 being ‘worse’ than 2018 compared to those in the City (39%).Analysis by States & Regions – Next Year ‘Better’ or ‘Worse’

States City/ Country
Total

Australia

NSW VIC QLD WA SA TAS City Country
% % % % % % % % %
Better 12 11 14 14 11 8 5 13 10
Same 41 35 41 41 49 54 46 41 41
Worse 40 47 40 39 33 31 44 39 42
Don’t know 7 7 5 6 7 7 5 7 7
TOTAL 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100

 

Next Year – Better or Worse? Long-term trends

“As far as you are concerned, do you think that 2020 will be better, worse, or the same as 2019?”

1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990
% % % % % % % % % % %
Better 42 43 32 57 57 52 36 39 47 43 33
Same 33 26 22 24 25 24 23 21 22 22 18
Worse 25 31 46 19 18 24 41 40 31 35 49
TOTAL 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100
1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996* 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001
% % % % % % % % % % %
Better 54 42 60 65 53 n/a 50 55 49 46 53
Same 20 22 22 19 29 n/a 28 25 30 33 21
Worse 26 36 18 16 18 n/a 22 20 21 21 26
TOTAL 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100
2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2017 2018 2019
% % % % % % % % % % %
Better 51 68 61 49 47 53 49 66 31 44 12
Same 16 17 22 22 25 24 17 18 39 32 41
Worse 33 15 17 29 28 23 34 16 30 14 40
Don’t know n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 10 7
TOTAL 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100

*This survey wasn’t conducted in 1996 and between 2010-2016.

Source: Roy Morgan Research Finding No. 8236 – This special Roy Morgan web survey was conducted with a representative cross-section of 1,043 Australians on October 9-14, 2019. They were asked “Do you think that 2020 will be better, worse, or the same as 2019?”

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Michael is a director of Metropole Property Strategists who help their clients grow, protect and pass on their wealth through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He's once again been voted Australia's leading property investment adviser and one of Australia's 50 most influential Thought Leaders. His opinions are regularly featured in the media. Visit Metropole.com.au


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