New Zealand: Consumer confidence regains some ground in April
The ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer confidence indicator rose to 84.4 in April from March’s 77.9, which had marked the worst reading since records began in 2004. However, the index remained below the 100-threshold that separates optimism from pessimism among consumers.
April’s result was driven by consumers’ somewhat stronger confidence with regards to the one-year and five-year general economic outlook. Moreover, households’ willingness to buy big-ticket items recovered some limited ground. Additionally, expectations of their financial situation in one year view improved.
Commenting on the release, Sharon Zollner, chief economist at ANZ, stated:
“The sorry state of consumer confidence is surprising in the context of a record-low unemployment rate. But apart from strong job security, households are under the pump. Omicron remains a threat. Very high inflation, particularly in necessities, means for the vast majority of people real incomes are going backwards. Those with debt are looking at sharply higher servicing costs. And those with savings are looking at deeper negative real returns on low-risk investments as inflation outpaces interest rate increases – not to mention wobbly global equities, losses on bond investments, and falling house prices. No one is immune.”