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Australians have never had it so good

Yahoo!7 Finance

New research has found that many Australian families are in a better financial position than a year ago as interest rate cuts far outweigh utility price hikes.

As utilities get more expensive and the local economy continues to struggle, Australians could be forgiven for thinking that times are tougher now than a year ago.

New analysis however, from the University of Canberra, shows that the average Australian family with a mortgage is actually $1390 better off as a result of falling interest rates countering rising electricity and gas prices.

The research conducted by the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling (NATSEM) shows that variable interest rates have dropped around 1.35 percentage points since October last year. Given the average Australian mortgage is around the $300,000 mark, this drop in interest rates delivers around $1780 a year in savings.

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Over the same time period Aussie families have been slapped with $392 in energy bills hikes.

Even with other price pressures added in, "the Australian standard of living has never been better," NATSEM research fellow Ben Phillips told News Limited.

"Even though pressures from electricity and gas are high there are other items that compensate - particularly imported goods such as clothes, shoes and electronic goods," Phillips added. 

The NATSEM analysis also showed that those renting were hit with over $300 of utility bill increases over the past year, and received no relief from falling interest rates.

Related: What a rate cut means for you.

Those renters who have been saving for their first home would have also seen falling savings rates impede their ability to build up enough money for a deposit on a house.

Price changes over the past year

Mortgage -$1782
Electricity and gas +$392
Average full-time weekly wage +$2340
Petrol +$150
Food costs (inc takeaway and restaurants) - $122

Do you feel like you are in a better financial position that a year ago? Let us know your opinion here.