Inflation expectations in Queensland and Tasmania were the highest among Australian states in March. The overall index, on the other hand, is stuck at its lowest in over two years, according to research firm Roy Morgan.

Analysis by state showed that inflation expectations rose in New South Wales, Victoria, and Western Australia; and decreased in Queensland and South Australia.  Figures were unchanged in Tasmania at 4.3%. Queensland posted a slight decline last month, with inflation expectations matching Tasmania’s at 4.3% -- tying the two states for the highest inflation expectations in the country.

Inflation expectations also fell in South Australia and are now right on the national average at 4%.

On the flip side of the coin, Victoria, which now has inflation expectations in line with the national average at 4%, led the increases in expectations.  

While still marginally below the national average, New South Wales’ inflation expectations also increased to 3.9%. Western Australia climbed to 3.8% but once again recorded the lowest inflation expectations of any state.

In March, Australians across the nation expected inflation of only 4% per year over the next two years. The figures are unchanged compared to February but down a significant 0.3% year-over-year. The index remains at its lowest since late 2016 for a second straight month.

The research firm found that Australian electors’ inflation expectations increased slightly to 3.9% in March and are now just below the national average of 4%.

The index dropped by 0.2% for LNP supporters to only 3.4%. In contrast, the inflation expectations of ALP supporters increased by 0.2% to 4.1%.

Greens supporters now have the lowest inflation expectations of any group after another fall— down by 0.5% to 3.3%. Once again, supporters of independents/others have the highest inflation expectations of any group —up by 0.1% to 4.4%.

Moreover, inflation expectations by employment status showed declines across all employment categories compared to this time last year. Inflation expectations for the workforce, in general, have declined by 0.4% over the last year to 3.8% in March and remained below the national average of 4%.

“Unsurprisingly, it is Australians in full-time employment who again have the lowest inflation expectations of any employment category at only 3.4% in March 2019, down by a significant 0.5% from a year ago and well below the national average of 4%. In contrast, it is unemployed Australians who have the highest inflation expectations of any employment category at 5%, although this is also down by 0.5% from a year ago. The inflation expectations of Australians not in the workforce (now 4.4%) and for under-employed Australians (4.2%) are both significantly higher than the general workforce (3.8%),” said Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine. “These results show that Australians who are not earning a wage, or are looking for more work, generally expect higher inflation than those Australians working in full-time employment and better placed to deal with rising prices.”