NZ consumer confidence remains high

While Aussies are below global average.

Nielsen’s latest consumer confidence results for the second quarter of 2017 reveals that across the Pacific, Australian and New Zealand consumers paint a very different picture of their future outlook.

New Zealand continues to ride its wave of positivity with a consumer confidence score of 103 for Q2 2017 – up seven points on 12 months ago and the highest it has been in nine years. Australia, on the other hand, recorded a consumer confidence score of 89 – slightly down on where it had been consistently sitting at 91 for most of 2016 and well below the global average of 104.

Rising optimism among Kiwi consumers has been driven by notable increases in all key confidence influencers. Sixty percent of New Zealanders believe that local job prospects are good/excellent over the next 12 months – up 14 percentage points on Q2 2016. More than three-in-five (61%) consumers say the state of their personal finances are good/excellent (up six percentage points on Q2 2017); while 47% believe it is now a good/excellent time to buy what they need and want (up from 39% in Q2 2016).

New Zealanders’ biggest concerns are a reflection of their current positive outlook. Health, increasing food prices, rising utility expenses, job security and work/life balance are the top five concerns among Kiwis. They are less concerned about the economy, jobs and debt levels which has featured more prominently during times of low consumer confidence.

The unemployment rate in New Zealand (currently at 4.8%), has moved in the opposite direction to consumer confidence and is the lowest it has been since March 2009, showing once again how positive Kiwis are feeling about life.

Underpinning Australians’ pessimistic outlook is their perception of local job prospects. Less than one-third of consumers (32%) say that labour conditions are good/excellent over the next 12 months – almost half the proportion of Kiwi consumers (60%) and well below the global benchmark of 53%. Just over half (51%) of Australian consumers say that the state of their personal finances are good/excellent – up two points versus Q2 2016; while just 42% say it is a good/excellent time to buy the things they want and need.

Australian consumers’ top three major concerns are also feeding our lower confidence levels with rising utility bills, the economy and terrorism most likely to keep us up at night.

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