New Zealand: Consumer confidence rises to highest level in over a year
December 17, 2012
Consumer confidence rose in the final quarter of 2012, as households became more upbeat about the present economic conditions as well as about future economic prospects. The Westpac-McDermott Miller consumer confidence indicator rose from 102.5 points in the third quarter to 111.1 points in the fourth quarter, which represents the highest level since the third quarter of 2011. As result, the index climbed further above the 100-point threshold, which means that optimists outnumber pessimists.
The improvement in Q4 particularly reflected a more optimistic assessment of the households' current financial situation, which is now at its highest level in five years. According to Westpac, consumers reported that it is a good time to buy big-ticket items, reflecting healthy purchasing power as a result of a strong exchange rate and low interest rates.
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist