Australian shoppers are feeling more concerned about their financial situation, according to new research released by Australian data and analytics firm, IRI.

Surveying 11,000 households across Australia, IRI found that 51% of respondents felt that the economy will not improve in the next six months, while only 11% felt that their economic situation will improve.

Chief commercial officer at IRI, Alistair Leathwood, said that many respondents had already made cutbacks to save their money.

"Our initial survey results show that six in 10 respondents believe that changes in the price of food will impact their budgets negatively within the next 12 months. Nearly half stated that they have already made cutbacks to save money.

“56% of shoppers confessed they are already going to hair salons less often to save money and 53% are making personal care products last longer to save money.

“34% of respondents are also giving up their favourite brands to save money and looking at alternatives that will fit within their budget.”

According to the research, one third of the respondents felt that their financial situation has worsened compared to the year before, while only two in 10 believe their situation has improved.

"The mood across Australian households is not as positive as it could be," Leathwood said.

"While this feedback is concerning, it also tells us a lot about how Australian shoppers are feeling, which is essential in determining the types of strategies and solutions needed by retailers and manufacturers to maintain engagement with households and achieve desired growth.

"Despite the negative sentiment, strong growth will still be achieved across [various] sectors. However, growth will require a deeper understanding of consumer attitudes and behaviour in order to hone offerings that deliver perceived value for both essential and non-essential items. For consumers, affordable luxuries represent a way to live the good life on a tight budget.

"Shoppers will still continue to spend in the current market however their spend will be more thoughtful, considered, value driven and price sensitive," he said.

IRI's complete research findings will be released at the end of May.

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