Consumer confidence bounces back

Consumer confidence made a slight gain last week, primarily due to stronger economic conditions that fell sharply in the week prior.

ANZ head of Australian Economics, David Plank said the weekend ANZ Roy Morgan consumer confidence survey was of considerable interest given the plunge in sentiment in economic conditions recorded over the first weekend of January.

Confidence fell 1.7% last week, to its lowest level in more than four years. This drop in confidence at the start of the year was unusual and almost certainly reflected the impact of the catastrophic bushfires over the weekend.

“With milder weather seeing the intensity of fires diminish, though not by enough to prevent further tragic loss of life, and some better economic news in the form of building approvals, job vacancies and retail sales, it is not surprising that much of the weakness in economic conditions reversed,” Plank said.

“This was enough to push overall sentiment 1% higher and offered some hope for a recovery in consumer spending after what appears to have been a very subdued Christmas retail season.”

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