Consumer confidence moves up

Household purchase intentions still flat.

Consumer confidence has ended its saw-tooth pattern by moving higher for the second week in a row, gaining 1.4% last week. It brings the ANZ-Roy Morgan Australian Consumer Confidence index close to its highest level since early December. However, the same cannot be said for the ‘time to buy a household item ’index, which was the only sub-index that was negative, falling 0.3%, its lowest level since October.

Financial conditions sub-indices were also positive, showing a marked improvement of 3.2%, to a level that is seldom exceeded, while future financial conditions gained 1.3%.

According to ANZ head of Australian Economics, David Plank consumer confidence is showing signs of improvement despite a decidedly mixed domestic economic environment with a stronger Australian dollar and a more supportive tone from the Federal Government possibly responsible for the rise in confidence.

“A slight rebound in Chinese Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) and a winning turn in the cricket may also have boosted sentiment,” he said. “The mixed economic backdrop makes it difficult to believe an uptrend in confidence will be sustained, but the fact consumer sentiment is well above average is a pleasing contrast to some of the more downbeat news recently.”

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