'Consumer conservatism' expected to continue in 2011

Australians will remain frugal in their spending habits this year amid fears of rising living costs, it has been predicted.

Social researcher David Chalke pointed to a continuing conservatism among consumers following the global financial crisis and a tendency to save up rather than spend.

"People will be more prudent due to a combination of uncertainty about the future and certainty that prices – particularly utilities, government charges and so forth – are going up," he told the Herald Sun.

"Even though we're comfortably off and unemployment will probably slow down, we're going to save our cash."

Consumers aiming to grow their long-term savings could choose to compare savings accounts in search of the best returns. Offering his own predictions for 2011, futurist Tim Longhurst told the newspaper that the sense of frugality among Australians would also extend to a sense of nostalgia for old fashioned living.

He suggested that people might look to temper their "plugged-in, hi-tech way of life" somewhat this year.

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