New Zealanders more averse to taking on debt: survey

08:13, June 07, 2011      

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Most New Zealanders are less willing to take on debt in the wake of the global financial crisis, according to a new survey.

The survey, commissioned by money guide Sorted, which is run by the government's Retirement Commission, showed 56 percent of New Zealanders were less inclined to take on debt since the recession and only 4 percent were inclined to take on more.

The Nielson survey of 717 people showed 35 percent had an unchanged attitude towards debt as a result of the recession.

Sorted spokesman David Kneebone told the New Zealand Press Association (NZPA) it was pleasing the recession was having a lasting impact on attitudes towards debt and money management.

"If the downturn has had a silver lining, it's this much healthier attitude towards unproductive debt," said Kneebone.

"Before the recession, New Zealanders were hungry for credit, often borrowing to finance their discretionary consumption at high interest rates."

The survey's results were supported by Reserve Bank of New Zealand figures showing New Zealanders were spending 99 cents for every dollar earned before tax compared to more than 1.10 NZ dollars (90 U.S. cents) for every dollar in March 2007.

Total consumer debt in New Zealand stood at 11.96 billion NZ dollars, comprising money owed on hire purchase, store cards, personal term loans, credit cards and overdrafts, said the NZPA report.

Source: Xinhua
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