New Zealand: Consumer sentiment rises to highest level in three years
June 17, 2013
In the second quarter, the Westpac-McDermott Miller consumer confidence indicator jumped to 116.6 points from the 110.8 points registered in the preceding period, thus bringing consumer sentiment to its highest level since the second quarter of 2010. As a result, the index moved further above the 100-point threshold, which means that optimists outnumber pessimists.
According to Westpac, consumers think that "it's a good time to spend". The second quarter survey showed that households are more optimistic about both the current economic situation and the country's future economic prospects. Westpac also noted that the survey showed "a marked lift in households' willingness to spend rather than save", as the net proportion of consumers expecting to buy major household items increased to levels last seen in 2005.
FocusEconomics Consensus forecast participants expect private consumption to expand 2.1% this year, which is down 0.1 percentage points from last month's projection. For 2014, the panel sees private consumption increasing 2.3%.
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist