Political limbo dents economic confidence

Melissa Jenkins
(Australian Associated Press)

 

Growing political uncertainty may have dented Australians’ views of the economy but overall consumer confidence remains steady.

The latest ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence Index rose just 0.1 per cent to 113.4 in the week to October 29, with the indicator relating to current finances increasing 5.3 per cent, but the measure of views about economic conditions over next year has fallen 4.5 per cent.

ANZ head of Australian economics David Plank says political uncertainty may have hurt consumers’ confidence in the economy.

“Rising political uncertainty may explain the rise in pessimism about the economic outlook, though consumers don’t seem to see this uncertainty impacting their finances directly,” he said.

It has been a tumultuous week for the federal government after the High Court disqualified Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce and cabinet minister Fiona Nash over their dual citizenship, with Mr Joyce now facing a by-election in his seat of New England.

Mr Plank said he expected a small rise in the September retail sales figures, to be released later this week, reflecting slow wages’ growth, a sluggish property market and pressure on household budgets due to soaring energy prices.

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