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New Zealand Consumer Confidence February 2022

New Zealand: Consumer confidence plunges to lowest level on record in February

The ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer confidence indicator tanked to 81.7 in February from January’s 97.7. Consequently, the index moved further below the 100-threshold that separates optimism from pessimism among consumers.

February’s result was driven by consumers’ falling confidence with regards to the one-year and five-year general economic outlook. Moreover, households’ willingness to buy big-ticket items collapsed. Additionally, expectations of their financial situation in one year view worsened.

Commenting on the release, Sharon Zollner, chief economist at ANZ, stated:

“There’s a lot of pressure on households, for sure: the rising cost of living, rising interest rates, the cooling housing market, and tighter credit availability. But these things aren’t new. Omicron is the big news this month, and it seems to have had an enormous impact across the whole survey. […] This is the first time most New Zealanders have faced a significant chance of actually catching COVID-19. This month’s data looks grim, but there are undoubtedly some temporary impacts in there. Time will tell what the other side looks like, but we do know that Omicron is fast and furious, and will blow through relatively quickly.”

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