Confidence hits pre-GFC levels

Last updated 13:44 23/01/2014

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Consumer confidence is up to its highest level since 2007, before the global financial crisis hit.

The ANZ Bank's latest survey of confidence showed a small rise to 135.8 points this month, from 129.4 in December. The latest result is the highest since February 2007.

The survey points to surging economic growth this year. 

ANZ was banking on two-thirds of the optimism translating into actual growth, at about 3.5 per cent, rather than the 5 per cent indicated by the survey. But that would be enough to push New Zealand to the top of the OECD growth stakes.

The lift in confidence has been widespread across regions, among both men and women and in all but one region, Canterbury, where confidence remained high but did not move up.

Young people, those under 24, were especially upbeat, with confidence levels up 11 points to a six year high.

Confidence typically rises in January, but even taking into account the usual seasonal lift in mood over summer, confidence was still the strongest since early 2007.

The survey also showed consumers thought it was a great time to buy a big household item. A net 50 per cent said it was a good time to buy, up 11 points, though unchanged if the usual seasonal rise is taken into account.

The survey suggested some post-Christmas-cheer for the retail sector "now that the silly season and traditional bout of December euphoria has passed," ANZ said.

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- The Dominion Post

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