21 Jan 2016

Consumer confidence holds steady for January

6:20 pm on 21 January 2016

Consumer confidence is steady, with people benefiting from low interest rates and job creation.

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Photo: 123rf.com

The ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence Index climbed three points to 121.4 this month.

A reading over 100 indicates optimism.

ANZ chief economist Cameron Bagrie said the New Zealand economy had considerable pep, with solid prospects in the months ahead.

"The New Year has started horribly for global financial markets, with commodity prices and equities being thumped," he said.

But Mr Bagrie said that hadn't affected local sentiment.

"It's obviously a serious risk for our economy if the turmoil continues, but developments aren't all bad news for consumers - lower oil prices will feed through into retail petrol prices in time, leaving more money in pockets, and lower interest rates are freeing up cash too," he said.

January highlights:

  • The ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence Index lifted 3 points to 121.4.
  • Expectations for the economy 1 and 5 years ahead were unchanged, at +6 and +17 respectively.
  • A net 8 percent of respondents feel financially better off than a year ago, up 2 points, and expectations 12 months ahead lifted 6 points to +32.
  • A net 44 percent believe it is a good time to buy a major household item - a 9 month high.
  • The Current Conditions Index rose 4 points to 126.1 with the Future Conditions Index up 2 points to 118.3. The former augurs well for near-term spending trends.
  • The regional split (using seasonally adjusted data), shows Cantabrians to be the confidence pace-setters, followed by Aucklanders.
  • Nationwide house price expectations eased to 4.1 percent, a 15-month low. Auckland house price expectations moderated from 6.5 percent to 4 percent, while gains were noted in Wellington, the rest of the North Island and Canterbury.
  • General inflation expectations were largely unchanged at 3 percent (previously 3.1 percent).
  • Source - ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence Index