Aussie consumers are focusing on debts

Mozo

Monday 08 August 2011

Australian consumers are getting more spendthrift and focusing instead on paying down their debts, it has been claimed.

Australians are focusing on debt as the global economy's future looks uncertain

According to the Bendingo & Adelaide Bank, the uncertain economic forecast has caused many to rein in their spending and attempt to shore-up their finances.

The bank's chief executive Mike Hirst said that those who have already been online to compare savings accounts are topping them up and repaying outstanding loans at near-record rates.

Speaking to the Herald Sun, Mr Hirst said: "We've seen a large inflow in the past month, near record levels."

He added: "We've seen a continual increase as people start to clean up their balance sheets."

Mr Hirst noted that ongoing uncertainty overseas – primarily the European debt crisis and the fact that the US came close to default, has changed the spending outlook of the masses.

Despite this new found caution, however, online spending on debit cards in Australia reached $9.5 billion last year, according to the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

However, Frost & Sullivan and PricewaterhouseCoopers expect this to increase even further in the coming months.

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