New Zealand: Consumer confidence craters in April
May 1, 2020
The ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer confidence indicator collapsed to 84.8 in April from March’s 106.1, hit by tough lockdown measures. Therefore, it fell below 100-threshold that separates optimism from pessimism among consumers for the first time in eleven years.
The number of households thinking it was a good time to buy major household items tumbled in April, bearing the brunt of the containment measures. Moreover, consumers’ expectations on next year’s general economic outlook worsened dramatically, as did households’ assessments about their current financial situation compared to one year ago. On a somewhat less negative note, consumers’ expectations over their future personal finances and their five-year general economic outlook deteriorated to a much lesser extent.
Commenting on the release, Sharon Zollner, ANZ chief economist, stated:
“New Zealand consumers are feeling pretty alarmed. Times have changed rapidly – job security is iffy or non-existent for many, the value of their largest asset is looking like flat-lining, and the world is suddenly a highly uncertain place. […] The outlook for consumer confidence will, like business confidence, to some extent depend on whether New Zealand continues to make slow but steady progress out of lockdown or backslides. But a lot of damage is already done.”