Utility prices are biggest worry: survey

Rising utility prices are the biggest concern for consumers heading into 2013 but they still have a positive view of the economy in the year ahead.

Home loan provider Mortgage Choice's annual online consumer sentiment survey found 22 per cent of respondents putting rising utility prices as their greatest concern, ahead of concerns of job security, the state of the global economy and the economic management by the federal government which scored 11 per cent each.

To cope with the rising cost of living, more than half (55 per cent) of the 1025 consumers surveyed said they had dipped into their savings to help make end meet.

"The much publicised increase in the cost of utilities seems to be hitting every one hard and this survey suggests that Australians overall are not feeling any more optimistic about their ability to meet these costs in 2013," Mortgage Choice head of corporate affairs Belinda Williamson said releasing the survey result on Thursday.

"With job security and the economic outlook also weighing on the minds of Australians, it is understandable that people are tightening their belts."

When gauging their confidence in the economy for 2013, 51 per cent were fairy or very confident, albeit down from 56 per cent in 2011 and 75 per cent in 2010.

Fifty-nine per cent said financial market turmoil had influenced them to save more.

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