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NZ consumer confidence slips in September, mood remains buoyant

Friday 13th September 2013

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

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

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