Consumer confidence slightly improves

More likely to buy household items.

Sentiment around the ‘time to buy a household item’ has finally picked up after six consecutive weekly falls, rising 0.7%, according to the latest ANZ Roy Morgan Confidence Rating, that rose 0.9% from the previous week’s reading. But inflation expectations remained flat at 4.5% on a four-week basis as views about finances deteriorated slightly, after strong readings the previous week.

However, consumer outlook on current economic conditions remained strong with a rise of 5.1% on a weekly basis and future economic sentiment was up slightly on 0.9%, following a strong gain of 6.0% in the previous reading. Both indices remain above or close to their long run averages.

Sentiment around current economic conditions remained strong (ANZ – Roy Morgan)

ANZ’s Australian Economics head,  David Plank, said it was pleasing  to see that consumer confidence has been able to add to last week’s strong gain, if only a touch. “This means that confidence has managed to recover much of the ground lost in response to financial market volatility and the unsettled local political environment. It doesn’t appear that the US President’s threat of steel tariffs and the resulting discussion about a possible trade war has yet had any impact on consumer sentiment.”

However, local data out this week could impact sentiment, particularly the GDP report for the final quarter of 2017, he said.

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