Consumer confidence at 14-week high

Luke Costin
(Australian Associated Press)

 

Consumer confidence has risen for a fifth straight week, but whether the trend continues could depend on wage and employment data out later this week .

The ANZ-Roy Morgan Australian Consumer Confidence index rose to a 14-week high of 120.8 last week, according to data released on Tuesday.

The one per cent rise was in contrast to the usual slide in confidence after the federal budget, and left the index above the 120-point level for just the fifth time since mid-January 2017.

Both optimism about current economic conditions and future financial conditions climbed to their highest since early February.

“This suggests that the budget and the personal income tax cuts therein have been well received,” ANZ’s head of Australian economics David Plank said in a statement.

“With confidence currently at its highest point since early February, we now look to the wage and employment reports out later this week, which could set the tone for confidence in the short run.”

The Australian Bureau of Statistics will on Wednesday release its wage price index for the March quarter, with labour force figures for April out a day later.

Treasurer Scott Morrison’s third budget last week promised income tax cuts for low- and middle-income workers, and even bigger cuts down the line.

The federal government also abandoned a proposed hike to the Medicare levy – meant to fund disability services – after saying it had received better-than-expected tax revenues.

The ANZ’s post-budget poll of 1,000 people wasn’t all positive with one sub-index showing fewer consumers than last week were looking to buy household items.

The four-week average for consumer confidence sits at 119.5 – 6.5 points above the 28-year average.

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