New Zealand: Confidence among consumers wanes somewhat in Q1
April 22, 2016
Confidence among New Zealanders fell marginally in the early part of 2016 as households became more worried about the country’s economic prospects. The Westpac-McDermott Miller consumer confidence indicator fell from the 110.7 points registered in the final quarter of 2015 to 109.6 points in the first quarter. Despite the mild drop, the indicator still sits above the 100-threshold that separates optimists from pessimists.
According to Westpac, the drop observed in the first quarter reflected that consumers’ were more concerned about where the economy is heading in the five years. The start of 2016 brought negative news related to signs that global economic conditions have deteriorated, signaling more challenging times ahead for the economy, in particular for the country’s export and its dairying sector. However, Westpac underlined that consumers’ less upbeat perceptions about the state of the economy in the coming years does not necessarily signal downside risks to household consumption in the coming months. In fact, the survey in Q1 showed that consumers remain overly optimistic regarding their current economic situation and the proportion of respondents expecting better personal financial prospects was higher than in the previous period. This means that, despite their concern about the country’s economic outlook, consumers are likely to remain in the mood for spending.
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist