New Zealand: Consumer confidence slips further in August
August 31, 2018
The ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer confidence indicator fell for the third consecutive month in August, from 118.4 in July to 117.6—marking the lowest print since May 2016. Nevertheless, the index remained comfortably above the 100-point threshold that separates optimism from pessimism among consumers.
August’s drop largely reflected a steeper decline in the current conditions index over the previous month. Consumers’ willingness to purchase major household items weakened slightly in August while they turned less upbeat over their current financial situation compared to July. The future conditions index also lost ground, with households’ views of the general economic situation in one year’s time deteriorating to the lowest level in nearly three years and their five-year economic outlook worsening for the sixth consecutive month in August. However, consumers turned slightly more optimistic about the prospect of being financially better off in one year.
All told, the headline indicator remained around its historical average in August. The print suggested that although consumers remain a little wary over the general economic situation in the future, their assessments of their current financial situation remain strong, reflecting the tight labor market.
Author: Javier Colato, Economist