The indications are that Aussie households are ready to start spending again, dipping further into debt as they go. The Westpac-Melbourne Institute index of consumer confidence has shown it’s biggest single jump ever and the latest Dun & Bradstreet Credit Expectations Survey shows how we intend to pay for our anticipated shopping spree. One in five households say their debt levels will increase in coming months.
On today’s BTalk I ask Christine Christian, D&B’s CEO, if consumers have lost all sense of reality. The figures show that, although many want to take on more debt, almost half of all households are also saying they will turn to their credit card to pay for otherwise unaffordable expenses over the next few months. In fact, credit card levels continue to rise (up 5 percent over the last year), which is frightening at a time when we expect interest rates to do the same. Equally disturbing, those with the greatest intention to spend money are the same groups demonstrating signs of potential financial stress.