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Lax leaders fail to satisfy

AUSTRALIANS' satisfaction with life is wavering for the first time in 20 years, driven partly by cost-of-living concerns, but also by a perceived lack of leadership in politics and business.

AUSTRALIANS' satisfaction with life is wavering for the first time in 20 years, driven partly by cost-of-living concerns, but also by a perceived lack of leadership in politics and business.

Despite low unemployment, low interest rates and a strong dollar, many people's satisfaction with life is slipping, according to a survey of about 13,000 Australians by ad agency Grey Group and Sweeney Research.

Dwindling satisfaction translated into more cautious spending, with the report describing people as more prudent shoppers. More were buying house-brand goods, with 65 per cent saying they were as good as other brands.

Seventy-eight per cent of those surveyed said they bought as many things on sale as possible, up from 67 per cent in 1992, during a recession.

Seventy-four per cent said Coles and Woolworths had too much dominance, prompting the report to question whether big retailers might be the next area of consumer backlash.

The top three cost-of-living issues were home affordability, having enough money for retirement and personal finances.

The report said the results were a clear call for strong leadership in "dramatically changing economic times".

Grey chairman Paul Gardner said people were reporting a lack of leadership in politics, business, brands and companies.


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