Consumer confidence steady in September

shopping3 (1)New Zealand consumer confidence remains steady in September and close to its historical average at 117.6, according to the ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence Index.

The Current Conditions Index fell four points to 120 while the Future Conditions Index rose two points to 116.

Households remain cautious about their outlook, but the gap with current conditions has narrowed. A smaller proportion of households believe it is a good time to buy a major household item with a net 29 per cent saying it’s a good time to buy a major household item, down six points.

According to the study, consumers’ perceptions of their current financial situation has remained steady, with a net 12 per cent feeling financially better off than a year ago. A net 27 per cent of consumers expect to be better off financially this time next year, up one point from the previous corresponding period.

Perceptions regarding the next year’s economic outlook improved two points to +4 per cent. The five-year outlook improved five points, to +18 per cent.

Confidence in Wellington dropped seven points while Canterbury improved seven points, more or less closing the gap, the study shows.

Expectations for national house price inflation were unchanged at 3.4 per cent year on year. The regions outside Auckland and Canterbury are the strongest. Inflation expectations dropped back from 4.0 per cent to 3.4 per cent, the lowest in six months.

This is surprising in light of petrol price increases and the NZD fall and implies that expected higher prices are unlikely to be the reason for the decline in confidence about buying major household items.

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