Consumer confidence rises but remains weak

By Leith van Onselen

The ANZ-Roy Morgan Research (RMR) consumer confidence index has rebounded slightly, rising 0.5 points to 110.8 in the week ended 15 March, but is still tracking below the long-run average (see next chart).

ScreenHunter_6589 Mar. 17 10.42

Despite the small lift in confidence, ANZ chief economist, Warren Hogan, remains fairly cautious about the prospects in the coming year, with consumers surveyed more worried about the economy in the year ahead, despite being more optimistic about their own personal finances:

“While rising house prices, relatively low petrol prices and low interest rates may be helping consumers feel more positive about their own finances, households remain concerned with the economic outlook in an environment of low wage growth, government budgetary strains and a soft labour market”.

The below chart plots the most recent Westpac-Melbourne Institute Consumer Sentiment index against the latest ANZ-RM Consumer Confidence index:

ScreenHunter_6590 Mar. 17 10.48

Sentiment clearly remains quite weak amongst Australian consumers.

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Unconventional Economist

Comments

  1. Rising house prices only make consumers feel more positive about their finances if they own a house (if even that is in fact true)

  2. BenjaminMEMBER

    I’d hazard a guess another contributor to the small lift in confidence is the Australian people taking solace in the fact they can trust the senate to resist that which would otherwise kill their net discretionary income.