New Zealand: Consumer confidence plunges to new all-time low in March
The ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer confidence indicator tanked to 77.9 in March from February’s 81.7, marking the worst reading since records began in 2004. Consequently, the index moved further below the 100-threshold that separates optimism from pessimism among consumers.
March’s result was driven by consumers’ falling confidence with regards to the five-year general economic outlook. Moreover, households’ willingness to buy big-ticket items fell. Additionally, expectations of their financial situation in one year view worsened.
Commenting on the release, Sharon Zollner, chief economist at ANZ, stated:
“Households are facing something of a perfect storm. Omicron is causing disruption and probably a degree of alarm, but the subdued level of forward-looking indicators highlights that there is a lot more going on than that. Indebted consumers may not like higher interest rates but all consumers hate inflation, the “thief in the night” that eats away at purchasing power and makes households feel that they are going backwards, even with a strong labour market.”