29 Nov 2019

Consumer confidence perks up, adds comfort to economy

11:49 am on 29 November 2019

Consumer confidence has continued to rise, as house price growth continues and wages increase.

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The ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer confidence index rose 3 points in November to 121, above its historical average.

More households reported feeling positive about the future of the local economy, saying now was a good time to buy a big-ticket item.

However, they were feeling worse about their own current financial situation, likely because of their debt levels.

"Things are pretty good for New Zealand households right now," ANZ chief economist Sharon Zollner said.

"They have a lot of debt, certainly ... but jobs are pretty easy to find, there has been some decent wage growth, and the housing market is lifting.

"[It's] not the slam dunk for consumer confidence that it used to be, but [it's] still important."

The confidence lift adds to a four-point rise in October, and followed a 16 point spike in this month's business confidence survey, which is at its best level in a year.

Ms Zollner said the latest readings on confidence pointed to a more rosy economic outlook, in line with the Reserve Bank's growth expectations, fuelled by low interest rates.

"These results will give them [the RBNZ] comfort that they are right."