18 Jun 2012

Consumer confidence slips

7:22 pm on 18 June 2012

Consumer confidence has slipped as households become increasingly worried about the European debt crisis and global recession.

The Westpac McDermott Miller Consumer Confidence Index was at 99.9 in June, 2.5 points lower than March.

A reading below 100 indicates pessimists outnumber optimists.

Westpac chief economist Dominick Stephens says people are becoming worried about the state of the economy due to the European debt crisis.

Of those respondents pessimistic about the economy's prospects, 40% blamed the recession in the rest of the world, while just over a quarter blamed the Government's policies.

Despite the gloom, Mr Stephens says people are feeling financially better off than they were three months ago.

And they're more willing to spend due to easing fuel prices and record low mortgage rates which he says bodes well for retail spending.

A recent confidence survey by the BNZ also showed people were becoming pessimistic about the economy's prospects.