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Finder Economic Positivity Index

Tracking the outlook Finder's panel of economic experts.

What you need to know

  • Finder’s Economic Positivity Index drops by 2%.
  • 10% of Finder’s panel on average had a positive view of the economy.
  • With the downturn, the index returns to mid-year lows.

Decomposed into the 5 sentiment categories, the main contributor to the index's drop is that none of Finder's panel of economists had a positive view of housing affordability over the next 6 months.

The next largest contributors are household debt and employment, where only 6% of economists had a positive outlook on both aspects.

This indicates that the experts expect Australian households will continue to find housing costs increasing and with lower capacity to pay.

Most worrying for households though is that the number of economists with a positive outlook on wage growth dropped to only 15% in March 2024 from 53% last year.

Most experts, therefore, see a fall in wage growth over the next 6 months.

Finder's Graham Cooke noted that, "The last few months have shown the only significant upward trend in economic sentiment since early 2022, when the average positivity peaked at 38% in March 2022. Almost no experts had a positive outlook on household debt or housing affordability, which is understandable in the middle of a high-interest cost of living crisis. Despite likely cash rate cuts in 2024, renters and first home buyers can expect to feel more economic pain."

What is the Finder Economic Positivity Index?

Finder's Economic Positivity Index is a monthly measure of how the economists on Finder's RBA cash rate panel view the outlook for the Australian economy across 5 broad categories. It provides a snapshot of the consensus positive sentiment of economic experts on the Australian economy as a whole over the next 6 months.

The index is collated from over 3,400 responses to Finder's RBA cash rate survey since March 2018. It is produced by analysing data collected across 5 categories:

  • Employment
  • Wage growth
  • Housing affordability
  • Cost of living
  • Household debt

Each category is measured with a question that asks whether the economist has a positive, neutral or negative outlook over the following 6 months. These responses are then collated into a consensus opinion, then averaged to form the final positivity index.

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