Consumer confidence remains weak

MARTA STEEMAN
Last updated 11:48 17/09/2012

Relevant offers

Industries

NZ dollar slumps against greenback Air NZ has high hopes for Nelson hub How much has the economy grown? Motels cast fishing crews adrift PGC announces offer to gain controlling 49 per cent stake in EPIC Financial advisers question CG tax Brazil hub for Tait's growth in South America Power boss on $32k a week Fairfax no comment on APN speculation South Korean-flagged vessels sent to port

Kiwis feel financially worse off than three months ago even though their confidence has picked up slightly.

That is revealed in the Westpac McDermott Miller Consumer Confidence Index published today. The index rose to 102.5, up from 99.9 in June.

"Consumer confidence has picked up slightly, but remains weak," said Westpac chief economist Dominick Stephens.

"Households are a little less pessimistic for the coming year than in June, but not much; and their assessment of their own finances remains very bleak."

"While it's concerning that overall confidence remains so low, the improvement in people's reported willingness to spend has gone hand in hand with a genuine pickup in retail activity in the first half of this year," said Stephens.

"The steady improvement in this part of the survey suggests that spending should continue to see modest upward momentum."

The survey shows that despite the dip in confidence, households' willingness to buy big ticket items has been gradually improving since late last year.

''This is strikingly at odds with how downbeat households continue to be in other respects- including their personal financial circumstances.''

Westpac McDermott Miller said they suspected the low prices for imported good thanks to the high New Zealand dollar was responsible for more households considering big ticket items.

Falling mortgage interest rates and easier lending were likely to also be reasons for the small increase in confidence in the September quarter.

Ad Feedback

- BusinessDay.co.nz

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content