12 Nov 2015

Consumer confidence at a six-month high

3:49 pm on 12 November 2015

Consumer confidence is at a six-month high, with people more upbeat about the state of the economy.

EFTPOS machine and card

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The ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence Index rose 8 points to 122.7 this month, the third consecutive monthly rise.

A reading over 100 indicates optimism.

ANZ chief economist Cameron Bagrie said low mortgage rates were working their magic and boosting confidence.

"While this is not great news for savers, it is a boon to borrowers provided they don't lose the plot; borrow-and-spend style growth can only be a temporary phenomenon," he said.

He said areas outside of dairy were performing well, including the regional housing market and tourism.

"When combined with the rise in business confidence, our confidence composite points to a rebound in activity, suggesting the economy will move beyond consolidation into a strengthening phase in 2016."

November highlights

The ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence Index rose 8 points to 122.7, a six- month high.

Expectations for the economy a year ahead rose 14 points to +15, with a 30-point rebound since August. Sentiment regarding the economy five years ahead firmed 4 points to +21.

A net 9 percent of respondents feel financially better off than a year ago. This improvement is expected to persist, with expectations for next year hitting a seven-month high (+30).

Those believing it was a good time to buy a major household item rose from +31 to +38.

The Current Conditions Index rose 8 points to 123.5, a good sign for Christmas spending.

Confidence rose in all regions (seasonally adjusted). While it is still the highest in Canterbury, other regions are catching up, led by the regional North Island.

House price growth expectations fell to 4.4 percent, the lowest this year, led down by Auckland.

General inflation expectations firmed to 4.1 percent, a four year high.