New Zealand: Consumer confidence remains steady in third quarter
September 19, 2011
Consumer confidence remained stable in the third quarter as a more optimistic view of present economic conditions compensated for more cautions assessment of consumers' future economic prospects. The Westpac McDermott Miller consumer confidence indicator was unchanged at 112.0 points in the third quarter. The reading, together with the second quarter outturn, represented the highest level in consumer confidence since the third quarter of 2010 and remains above the 100-point threshold that indicates that optimists outnumber pessimists. The third quarter reading reflected consumers' more optimistic assessment of the current economic situation, with the sub-index of present economic conditions improving to 105.7 points in the third quarter (Q2: 103.9 points). According to the survey, consumers remain highly confident that the economy will pick up speed as Christchurch reconstruction gathers pace. However, respondents to the third quarter survey were less optimistic about their future economic prospects, with the sub-index of future economic conditions edging down from 117.4 points in Q2 to 116.3 in Q3. According to the survey, pessimism prevails among consumers regarding their economic prospects for the next five years.
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist