Kiwi focus on debt despite good times

MICHAEL FOREMAN
Last updated 15:13 11/02/2014

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Most New Zealanders remain determined to save even as their confidence in the economy and job prospects improves, a MasterCard survey shows.

The latest MasterCard Consumer Confidence Index, which measures consumers' outlook for the next half year, has risen from 49.9 points in the first half of 2013 to 55.

Within the survey, confidence in the economy rose from 45.8 points in the same period last year to 59.4 and optimism about employment prospects increased from 36.9 points to 55.8.

However, the survey also revealed that almost 90 per cent of Kiwis planned to squirrel away more in the next six months, on average aiming to save about 16 per cent of their income.

MasterCard NZ country manager Peter Chisnall said the boost in consumer confidence was in line with other market insights and the New Zealand index was at its highest since early 2010.

"While we're spending more, we are still saving in big numbers," Chisnall said.

"In times of a windfall, paying off debt and saving remain a top priority - which highlights that Kiwis have taken on-board the lessons from the global financial crisis."

The survey was conducted anonymously by an independent research company, and included 406 New Zealanders aged between 18-64 years old who owned a bank account, MasterCard said.

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- Fairfax Media

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