New Zealand consumer confidence held its ground this month as kiwis indicated they feel gloomier right now but are more optimistic about the future.

The ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence survey edged up 0.1 point to 116.4 in September, as people grew more pessimistic about the present, and more upbeat about the future.

The current conditions index fell to 102.9 from 103.7 in August, while the future conditions index rose 0.8 point to 125.5.

"The gap between current and future conditions remains wide,"
Cameron Bagrie, the bank's chief economist, said in his report.

"With current conditions the key bellwether in regard to actual spending trends, such a gap suggests continued caution on behalf of consumers."

The survey of 1,021 people is in line last week's Westpac McDermott Miller Consumer Confidence survey, which showed a softening in the third quarter, with the short-term outlook deteriorating as the longer-term view picked up.

People were more downbeat on buying major household items, with a net 18 per cent saying it's a good time to buy compared to a net 25 per cent in August.

Consumers' expectation for inflation was unchanged at a 3.6 per cent pace over the next two years.

The Reserve Bank flagged soft consumer spending as one of the reasons why it held the official cash rate at 3 per cent last week, and pared back its forecast track for future rate hikes.

That comes as a net 12 per cent of respondents believe they are worse off now than a year earlier, an improvement on the net 18 per cent of pessimists in August, while a net 28 per cent expect to be better off in a year's time, compared to 29 per cent a month earlier.

A net 5 per cent of respondents see the economy improving over the next
12 months, down from a net 7 per cent a month ago, while a net 43 per cent think the next five years will get better, compared to 38 per cent in August.

The data captured the 7.1 magnitude Canterbury earthquake, though confidence in the region rose 2 points to 113.9.