Lack of savings puts Aussies at risk

A huge number of Australian families will struggle to make ends meet if the cost of living goes up this year, new research suggests.

According to the latest Suncorp Life Confidence Index, which was obtained by the AAP, up to 3.7 million Australians may not be able to cope if living expenses increase.

The index found that such people have little or no savings and believe their household budgets could not withstand the pressure if everyday costs went up.

News of the survey comes after retail giant Coles yesterday told the AAP that some supermarkets are struggling to keep up certain fruit and vegetable stocks in the wake of the flood crisis, suggesting that prices may rise.

Consumers concerned about their financial position could choose to compare savings accounts with a view to bolstering their long-term funds. Commenting on the index, Suncorp Life chief financial officer John O'Farrell suggested the newly disclosed annual inflation rate of 2.7 per cent could also pose problems for households.

"With the cost of fruit and vegetables expected to rise, today's inflation figures could be the tipping point for millions of Australians," he said.

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