New Zealand: Consumer confidence improves in Q1
March 23, 2015
The Westpac-McDermott Miller consumer confidence indicator rose from the 114.8 points recorded in Q4 2014 to 117.4 points in Q1 2015. The reading marked the highest level since Q2 2014. As a result, the index moved further above the 100-point threshold that indicates that optimists outnumber pessimists.
The improvement in Q1 reflected that consumers assessed both current and expected future economic conditions better than they did in Q4. In fact, four of the five sub-categories of the index improved in Q1. According to Westpac, “[t]he lift comes […] as no surprise. Petrol prices and fixed mortgage rates have continued to fall since the previous survey, while share prices and house prices have continued to rise. Rising consumer confidence is also in keeping with the very strong electronic card spending data we saw over January and February.”