New Zealand: Consumer confidence lets up in April
April 27, 2018
The ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer confidence indicator dropped significantly from 128.0 in March to 120.5 in April, which represented the lowest level since August 2016. Nevertheless, the index remained comfortably above the 100-point threshold that separates optimism from pessimism among consumers.
Both the current and future conditions indices fell in April, although they remained above the 100-point threshold. Consumers were less optimistic about their current financial situation and the prospect of being financially better off in one year compared to in March. Regarding future conditions, households’ perception of the economic outlook for the next year deteriorated, and their impression of the five-year economic outlook also worsened. On a more positive note, households’ willingness to purchase a major household item declined slightly but remained nonetheless strong.
Despite April’s drop, the headline indicator still stands slightly above its historical average. Consumer confidence levels have been buoyant against the backdrop of a tight labor market and low borrowing costs. That said, the dip likely reflects consumers’ growing concerns about future conditions.
Author: Lindsey Ice, Economist