23 May 2014

Consumer sentiment eases, still upbeat

9:25 pm on 23 May 2014

Consumer sentiment has eased to a six-month low, although it remains firmly positive.

The ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer confidence index fell six points to 128 in the May survey.

A reading above 100 indicates sentiment is positive.

ANZ Bank chief economist Cameron Bagrie attributes the fall to rising interest rates beginning to bite.

However, Mr Bagrie said there was still much for households to smile about including growing employment, a strong economy and the likelihood that would translate into higher wages.

Mr Bagrie said the high New Zealand dollar was also suppressing inflation by making imports, particularly big-ticket items, cheaper.