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NZ consumer sentiment rises in January to highest since April 2015

Thursday 19th January 2017

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Consumer sentiment rose in January to its highest level since April 2015 as economic momentum continues, the ANZ-Roy Morgan NZ Consumer Confidence index showed Thursday. 

The consumer confidence index rose 4.2 points to 128.7 in January, with the current conditions index up 4.7 points to 129.8 and the future conditions index up 4.0 points to 128.1.

"The summer weather might be dodgy so far, but consumers have started 2017 on a high," said ANZ chief economist Cameron Bagrie, who said there are "good reasons" for the optimism, including a solid run in job ads, modest inflation and a huge improvement in the outlook for dairy. While the housing market may be leveling out, Bagrie noted "property-owning households have been given a huge wealth boost."

The survey of 1,000 people found a net 34 percent of respondents said they were better off now than a year ago and a net 48 percent expect to be better off in 12 months time. In December, a net 36 percent said they were better off while a net 46 expected to be better off in 12 months time.  A net 65 percent of respondents see now as a good time to buy a big-ticket item, versus 58 in December. 

The survey found a net 25 percent of respondents were optimistic about the economy over the coming 12 months, up from 22 percent in December while a net 25 percent were upbeat about the next five years versus a net 18 percent in December.  

On inflation, respondents expect prices will rise an annual 3.7 percent over the next two years, compared to 3.4 percent in December, while house prices are seen rising at a 4.3 percent annual pace, compared to 5.4 percent in December. 

BusinessDesk.co.nz

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