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3/12/2018 — General
ANZ sees consumer confidence lift

There was a rise in the ANZ Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence Index in November.

Radio New Zealand said the index has bounced back, with the outlook at the strongest level in six months. There was a rise in the index of 4 points in November to about average levels.

While perceptions about current conditions eased 1 point to 121, there was a big bounce in the future conditions index, which rose 6 points to 117.

“Consumers are feeling pretty resilient,” said ANZ chief economist Sharon Zollner.

“The proportion thinking it is a good time to buy a major household item is holding up well enough to suggest spenders aren't closing their wallets just yet.”

Radio NZ said a net 26% of consumers expected to be better off financially this time next year, with a net 7% expecting economic conditions to improve.

Ms Zollner said confidence in Auckland rose 5 points to become the most confident region in the country, which was a marked contrast to business confidence. Confidence in Wellington dropped 3 points to fall below Auckland, while Canterbury was the weakest.

She said the confidence was good for near-term economic growth, but a degree of prudence was warranted too. Household debt had flattened off at high levels of 167% of household disposable income.

“Any improvement from here will be a long, slow grind,” she said.

“Given high debt levels, consumer retrenchment is certainly a risk that could exacerbate any slowdown, but it is unlikely to be the catalyst for such an event.”

Source: radionz.co.nz

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Sharon Zollner, chief economist for ANZ Bank in New Zealand. Source: Radio NZ.