Consumer sentiment continues to march along, although the headline and seasonally adjusted indexes both eased slightly in March. The data continues to signal a good tempo for spending trends and economic momentum. Inflation expectations and house price expectations were little changed.
- Consumer sentiment continues to march along, although the headline and seasonally adjusted indexes both eased slightly in March.
- The data continues to signal a good tempo for spending trends and economic momentum.
- Inflation expectations and house price expectations were little changed.
ANZ-Roy Morgan New Zealand Consumer Confidence is marching along at a steady pace, tracking above average. The ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence Index eased from 127.4 to 125.2 in March (average 118). Once we adjust for the usual seasonal pattern, consumer confidence eased from 125.3 to 123.9. That’s a blip.
The Current and Future Conditions Indexes both eased 2 points from elevated readings.
At 126.0 and 125.0 respectively, the levels for both indexes remain historically high. In terms of the details:
Consumers appear to be at ease with the current economic environment.
- Indicators for near-term spending suggest retailers should be able to drum up business. A net 13% feel better off financially compared with a year ago, around the average for the past six months. Consumer enthusiasm for buying major household items eased from +41 to +38 – this measure has been oscillating around the 40 mark for three years.
- Forward-looking indicators marked time. Net optimism towards the economy one year out eased from +26 to +21. However, respondents’ views towards their own financial situation in 12 months’ time lifted a touch to a net +32%.
- Solid consumer confidence readings are in step across all regions. Auckland is the most optimistic region, followed by the South Island excluding Canterbury.
Factors supporting spending are lining up: a high (albeit falling) NZD means imports are cheap. Wage gains might be unremarkable but jobs are plentiful. House price lifts have led to paper wealth for many. The worst of the dairy sector risks appear to have been averted. Interest rates are gradually lifting, which will dent the disposable income of the most stretched borrowers, but we shouldn’t forget that higher rates are good for savers.
Our confidence composite gauge
(which combines business and consumer sentiment) continues to point to GDP growth accelerating north of 4%.
We don’t think the economy can actually grow that fast, at least not for long, as the workers simply aren’t available, particularly in the construction sector but increasingly economy-wide, including services. The overall message, which is relevant following the soft Q4 GDP figures, is that the economy is showing little sign of a turn.
Click here to download the latest ANZ-Roy Morgan New Zealand Consumer Confidence Release PDF - March 2017.
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Related Research Reports
The latest Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence Monthly Report is available on the Roy Morgan Online Store. It provides demographic breakdowns for Age, Sex, State, Region (Capital Cities/ Country), Generations, Lifecycle, Socio-Economic Scale, Work Status, Occupation, Home Ownership, Voting Intention, Roy Morgan Value Segments and more.
You can also view our monitor of Quarterly New Zealand Unemployment & Under-employment Estimates.