Consumer confidence rises in November

business-graph-up-increase-growth-arrow-business-e1475625068432Consumer confidence has returned to average in November, which nevertheless is its strongest level in six months, according to the recent ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence Index.

The study shows consumer confidence lifted four points in November to 118.6 points. Perceptions of current conditions eased, but the future conditions index bounced back. The proportion of households who think it’s a good time to buy a major household item was little changed.

The Current Conditions Index eased one point to 121, but the Future Conditions Index bounced back six points to 117, to levels more consistent with other readings this year, the ANZ-Morgan study shows.

The survey also reveals consumers’ perceptions of their current financial situation has dipped one point to a net 10 per cent feeling financially better off than a year ago.

A net 26 per cent of consumers, up six points, expect to be better off financially this time next year. About 32 per cent, down one point from the previous corresponding period, think it’s a good time to buy a major household item.

“Consumers are feeling pretty resilient, with confidence bouncing back to sit around historically average levels,” according to ANZ-Roy Morgan.

“Confidence about the future remains a bit further under par.”

The study shows that the proportion thinking it is a good time to buy a major household item is holding up well enough to suggest spenders aren’t closing their wallets just yet.

“Our confidence composite gauge (which combines business expectations and intentions with overall consumer sentiment) continues to suggest a slowing in GDP growth by year end,” the ANZ-Roy Morgan team announced.

“We suspect business sentiment indicators are overstating the power of the growth headwinds at present, and rather see growth holding up in a 2½-3 per cent range. Given high debt levels, consumer retrenchment is certainly a risk that could exacerbate any slowdown, but it is unlikely to be the catalyst for such an event.”

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