CONSUMER worries about interest rates have been overtaken by concerns about the impact of the carbon orice and utility costs on household finances.
An online survey conducted by mortgage provider Loan Market shows 39 per cent of respondents nominated the carbon tax as their biggest financial concern for 2012, while 30 per cent nominated utility costs.
Of the 484 respondents, 21 per cent said interest rates would have a negative impact, while just 10 per cent said fuel prices.
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"Even though it does not come in until July 1 next year, the majority of our respondents cite the carbon tax as their biggest financial concern for 2012,'' Loan Market chief operating officer Dean Rushton said today.
The survey also found Gen-Yers were more concerned about the carbon price, with 51 per cent of respondents in that age group saying it would have the greatest negative impact on their finances.
But consumers were less concerned by interest rate rises, after the Reserve Bank of Australia in November cut the cash rate for the first time in more than two and half years.
"There is no doubt in that they will need to cut further to continue to shore up confidence in the current global environment,'' Mr Rushton said in a statement.