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Australians fear higher rates

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Despite the RBA’s decision to keep rates on hold last month, 50 per cent of consumers are already sacrificing a range of everyday necessities to accommodate higher interest rates.

According to the latest Bankwest/MFAA Home Finance Index, 50 per cent of Australians are forgoing eating out to deal with the burden of higher rates, while 47 per cent are reducing costs at home or taking lunch to work and 42 per cent are going on cheaper holidays or not taking a break at all.

The Index found the number of borrowers feeling ‘worse off’ than 12 months ago has been steadily increasing since November 2009.

Those who are most concerned and affected by the state of the economy are the over 60s, unemployed, low income earners, students and those involved in home duties.

“With interest rates higher than last year, many mortgage holders seem to be holding back on their spending.  Home buyers are opting for practical strategies such as packed lunches, shopping during the sales, and buying in bulk to balance their household budgets. There is a clear move to more thrifty spending for many Australian households,” Bankwest retail chief executive Vittoria Shortt said.

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