New Zealand: Consumer confidence dips at the start of the year
May 16, 2017
The Westpac-McDermott Miller consumer confidence indicator dropped from 113.1 points in Q4 to 111.9 points in Q1, but stayed comfortably above the 100-threshold that separates optimists from pessimists.
Q1’s decline reflected consumers’ more pessimistic outlook in almost all components of the index. Respondents were less upbeat about the one-year economic outlook and their current and expected financial situations. Likewise, they were less positive about households’ present and expected conditions. According to the survey, the decline in these components could reflect apprehension surrounding September’s election, housing affordability and international political developments. Nevertheless, the reading should not be interpreted as an indication that consumer confidence is declining. The drop in the first quarter is considered to be fairly small taking into account index volatility and the damp summer weather. In addition, the proportion of households in better financial conditions now than last year is above average and the headline figure remains at around average levels.