Consumer confidence dips, mood still upbeat

Kiwi consumer confidence remained elevated in September.
Kiwi consumer confidence remained elevated in September.

New Zealand consumer confidence slipped this month although the mood remains buoyant.

The ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer confidence index dipped to 119 in September from 123 in August. The current conditions index fell 6 points to 116 while the future conditions index dropped 3 points to 121.

"This is not ominous," ANZ New Zealand chief economist Cameron Bagrie said in his report. "Levels of confidence remain elevated and consistent with a decent pace of momentum across the spending side of the economy."

The combination of consumer confidence and business sentiment surveys signal an economy in a firm economic expansion with the potential for growth to accelerate to around 3.8 per cent by January 2014, according to ANZ.

The latest monthly figures are consistent with a more moderate and more sustainable pace of consumer spending, Bagrie said. Moderating sentiment good be seen as a positive development if spending trends follow because retail sales had started to outpace incomes and credit growth was rising faster than wages, he said.

Of the 959 respondents, a net 36 per cent consider now a good time to buy a big ticket item, down from 41 per cent in August. A net 4 per cent said they were worse off now than a year ago, compared to a net 2 per cent saying they were better off in August, while a net 28 per cent expect to be better off in a year's time, down from a net 32 per cent last month.

A net 13 per cent of respondents predict better economic conditions in the coming year, down from a net 16 per cent in August, and a net 22 per cent see good times ahead in the coming five years, down from a net 24 per cent last month.

- BusinessDesk

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