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.