New Zealand consumer confidence dropped in February, wiping out the previous month's sunny-season gains, with Kiwis increasingly wary about buying major household items and turning gloomier on the outlook for the economy.
The ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence measure fell 9 points to 108.2 this month, with perceptions of current and future conditions deteriorating. The current conditions index fell 9 points to 96.6, while future expectations dropped to 115.9 from 125.
The survey comes as economists rethink the pace of New Zealand's recovery. It shrank in the third quarter and there's a heightened concern the economy slipped back into recession, which would be either by revisions to second-quarter GDP or an unexpected slump in the fourth quarter.
The drop in February mainly reflected seasonal factors, according to the release. With those removed, sentiment was little changed, down 1 point and the current conditions measure was unchanged at 94.8, still a weak number.
Looking at the detail of the survey, the net number of those surveyed who thought it was a good time to buy a major household item fell to 13 from 20. Those who said they were worse off financially now than a year ago deteriorated to -20 from -9.