Consumer confidence hits winter blues

PAUL MCBETH
Last updated 13:51 14/07/2011

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New Zealanders got a dose of the winter blues this month and are less likely to go out spending than they were in June.

The ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence survey fell 3.1 points to 109.4 in July after a strong rebound a month ago.

Confidence levels are still below historical levels, though there are more optimists than pessimists, ANZ head of market economics and strategy Khoon Goh said in his report.

"The bottom line is that consumers' sense of cautiousness is likely to remain for a while," Goh said. "Though folks still feel financially worse off now, at least it is moving in the right direction."

The release comes the same day as the much-delayed gross domestic product data, which showed New Zealand's economy grew 0.8 per cent in the first three months of the year, even taking into account the devastating earthquake in Christchurch which killed 181 people and caused as much as $15 billion of damage.

The current conditions index rose half a point to 100.1, while the future conditions index fell to 115.6 from 121.2.

Of the 1,012 people surveyed, a net 14 per cent said they were worse off than a year ago, down from a net 16 per cent of respondents in June, while a net 24 per cent expect to be better off in a year's time, compared to a net 29 per cent.

A net 8 per cent of respondents said they think economic conditions will deteriorate over the coming 12 months, up from a net 3 per cent, and a net 31 per cent expect the economy to improve over the coming five years, down a net 38 per cent a month ago.

A net 14 per cent of people surveyed think it's a good time to buy big ticket items, down from a net 15 per cent in June.

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- BusinessDesk

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