Consumer confidence plummets in September

decline, down, arrow, fall, failureConsumer confidence fell sharply in the September quarter, reaching its lowest point in six years, according to the Westpac McDermott Miller Consumer Confidence Index.

The index showed a fall across all measured outlooks, including present and expected conditions, current and expected financial situation, one-to-five year economic outlooks, and whether it is a ‘good time to buy’.

“The latest drop in confidence gives genuine cause for concern about how the economy is progressing,” the report said.

“Consumer spending growth has clearly slowed in the last year or so… Our view has been that spending would continue to grow at a slow but steady pace in the coming years… however, the details of the consumer confidence survey present a challenge to that view.”

Households’ expectations of their own circumstances in the next year fell to a net -5: the lowest reading outside of an actual recession in the history of the survey.

The report noted that there is no straightforward answer to what is playing on consumers minds.

“It may be that consumers are starting to feel a real impact from the economic slowdown which began in 2017,” the report said.

“Or it may just be that consumers are concerned by what they are hearing about business confidence.”

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