Consumer confidence broadly on track around its long-term average

Simone Ziaziaris
(Australian Associated Press)

 

A recent pickup in consumer confidence has proved short-lived, with concerns about limited wage gains, slowing house-price growth and low savings weighing on minds last week.

The latest ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence Index ended a two-week run of gains by slipping 0.7 per cent to 112.6, with optimism over longer-term future economic conditions falling to its lowest value in two months.

Nonetheless, ANZ head of Australian economics David Plank said accommodative monetary conditions and a strong labour market were keeping consumer confidence broadly on track around its long-term average.

Views about current financial conditions eased slightly in the week to November 5, after a solid rise the previous week, while the outlook for future financial conditions dropped for the third straight week – falling to its lowest point in almost three months.

Mr Plank said it was encouraging, however, that sentiment around current finances remained above the long-term average.

“Broadly, they (households) have been able to weather the pressure on their wallets caused by the jump in energy prices – though not without some hit to retail sales”, Mr Plank said.

“But, given limited wage gains, slowing house-price growth and an already low savings rate, consumers are increasingly less certain about the future, as reflected in the recent downtrend in future conditions.”

Views towards next year’s economic conditions rose 2.1 per cent, partially offsetting the previous week’s 4.5 per cent fall.

Mr Plank said next week’s employment and wage price index data will likely influence confidence in the coming weeks.

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