26 Apr 2019

Stable labour market keeps consumer confidence firm

2:32 pm on 26 April 2019

Consumer confidence is holding steady, defying a soft housing market and economic risks in the global and local market.

Hands holding credit card and using laptop. Online shopping

Photo: 123RF

The ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence Index showed consumers feeling more confident about current conditions, with a one-point rise to 123 in April.

Perceptions of current conditions rose 5 points, while the future conditions index fell 1 point.

ANZ Bank chief economist Sharon Zollner said confidence around the historical average remained robust, supported by a strong labour market.

A high proportion of consumers also thought it was a good time to buy a major household item, a key indicator of confidence.

"Indeed, this picked up sharply in April, supportive of household spending despite soft housing market activity, " she said.

"However, caution around the economic outlook has kept confidence about future conditions a little more subdued."

Ms Zollner said the confidence composite gauge, which combined business expectations and intentions with overall consumer sentiment, suggested momentum in the economy had slowed considerably.

"The composite gauge is consistent with our GDP growth outlook: subdued in the near term (falling to 2 percent this year), before gradually building towards 3 percent over the next few years."

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