The global financial crisis (GFC) caused a significant decline in economic activity across the globe but Hunter residents appear to have escaped its full impact, according to the Hunter Valley Research Foundation’s latest Wellbeing Survey.
Conducted in 2006, 2007 and 2009, the survey found that proportionally fewer Hunter residents suffered financial hardship in 2008-09 than in 2006-07 with results suggesting they were more financially secure in 2009 than in 2006.
HVRF Research Fellow and Wellbeing Survey Project Manager Shanthi Ramanathan said that 29 per cent of the 1,500 randomly selected Hunter residents who were surveyed in 2009 reported being short of money to meet their everyday needs in the previous year, down from 36 per cent in 2007 and 45 per cent in 2006. This trend was mirrored in the rest of NSW, where 34 per cent of residents reported being short of money, down 10 percentage points from 2006.
The one area of Hunter household expenses that appears to have been negatively impacted by the GFC is housing,” she said.
Compared with the 2006 figure, significantly more Hunter residents were unable to afford to pay their rent or mortgage on time in 2009. This may have resulted in homes being repossessed or tenants being evicted in the Hunter.”
Other key results from the 2009 survey:
- Compared with 2006, significantly fewer Hunter residents were unable to afford their utility bills and fewer had to ask a welfare or community organisation for help during the GFC
Hunter residents were no more or less likely to be able to raise $2,000 in a week for an emergency in 2009 than in 2006-07, although in 2009 significantly more Hunter residents were able to access their savings to raise the money than in 2006 and 2007
- The proportion of residents who would have to borrow money from a financial institution, sell an asset or use some other method to raise the money in 2009 fell by 6 percentage points from 2006.