Consumer confidence steady

Last updated 14:08 21/03/2014

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Consumer confidence is still high, but has eased "a tad" this month, according to a bank survey.

The ANZ survey out today shows the consumer confidence index was down from 133 to 132 points, a move that was "nothing more than noise", the bank said.

The seasonally adjusted estimate showed a 4-point rise, taking consumer confidence to the highest level since February 2005.

Most of the replies to the survey came in before last week's rise in official interest rates.

But ANZ said that had been so well flagged "it's hard to imagine it had a material bearing on this survey's results".

The bank would keep a close eye on next month's survey result, due on April 17.

The survey's current conditions index dropped 1 point to 126 points, while the future conditions index was up to 136 points. Both measures remain "very elevated" compared with their historical averages (113 and 121 respectively) and a mild seasonal element is behind the decline.

The seasonally adjusted estimates revealed that current conditions hit a 6½-year high, with future conditions at a four-year high. Both were a good sign for consumer spending trends, the bank said.

Slightly more people feel better off than a year ago (+8 positive against +7 last month), another good sign for spending.

Despite waning a tad, most respondents still viewed it to be a great time to buy a major household item with a net 44 per cent positive.

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- Fairfax Media

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