Confidence in Aussie economy plunges

The run of weak consumer data continue with the latest ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer confidence survey stuck firmly below average levels and tracking near multi-year lows, despite posting a modest rebound this week:

As shown above, the consumer confidence index was 5.8 points lower than the historical average.

The slump in confidence has been driving by pessimism about Australia’s economy:

ANZ Head of Australian Economics, David Plank, has tried to put ‘lipstick on a pig’:

The weekend’s consumer confidence survey is of considerable interest given the plunge in sentiment in economic conditions recorded over the first weekend of January. With milder weather seeing the intensity of fires diminish, though not by enough to prevent further tragic loss of life, and some better economic news in the form of building approvals, job vacancies and retail sales, it is not surprising that much of the weakness in economic conditions reversed. This was enough to push overall sentiment 1% higher. This offers some hope for some recovery in consumer spending after what appears to be a very subdued Christmas retail season.

However, it is important to note that other recent surveys are also showing similar consumer weakness (see here and here).

Leith van Onselen

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