New Zealand: Consumer confidence reaches highest level in over four years
December 16, 2013
The Westpac-McDermott Miller consumer confidence indicator jumped from the 115.4 points recorded in Q3 to 120.1 in Q4. The reading marked the highest level since Q3 2009. As a result, the index rose further above the 100-point threshold indicating that optimists outnumber pessimists.
According to Westpac, the strong increase in Q4 reflects consumers' rising optimism about the current economic situation and their current financial situation. In addition, when asked about the country's economic prospects, households became much more optimistic than in the previous quarter. In the Q4 survey, Westpac concluded that, "on balance, this suggests consumer spending should continue at a solid clip, but may not accelerate much further."
FocusEconomics Consensus forecast participants expect private consumption to expand 3.6% this year, which is up 0.2 percentage points from last month's projection. For 2014, the panel sees private consumption increasing 2.8%, which is unchanged from last month's projection.
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist