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Financial literacy declining among Australian youngsters

The financial knowledge of young people in Australia is declining, according to a new report.
This news follows last week's claim by property tycoon Tim Gurner that first-time buyers down under have unrealistic expectations of the houses and lifestyles that they'll be able to afford due to a lack of financial maturity.
Now, new research carried out as part of the Program for International Student Assessment (Pisa) shows that the ranking of the average financial knowledge of schoolchildren in Australia has fallen by 22 points over the past three years.
The country is ranked fifth in the world - behind China, Belgium, Canada and Russia - in terms of the level of its children's financial literacy, but this metric appears to be declining.
Australian 15-year-olds consistently outperform the teenagers of ten other global economies at tasks such as identifying financial products, understanding budgeting and balancing credit cards, according to the Pisa data, which is produced in conjunction with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
However, some have raised concerns about its 22-point fall over the last few years, particularly because the future state of the Australian economy looks uncertain despite recent marked growth.
The Pisa report findings suggest that a growing number of young people in the country could be losing out on key skills that could help them to navigate challenging economic times in the future, or even processes such as purchasing their first home, taking out a loan or devising a monthly household budget.
The report stated: "The results call for greater investments in financial literacy from a young age. The data show far too many students around the world are failing to attain a baseline level of proficiency.
"Even in countries and economies that perform at or above the OECD average ... at least one-fifth of students perform below the baseline level of proficiency."

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