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NZ consumer confidence slips in February

Thursday 16th February 2012

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New Zealand consumer confidence slipped in February, as the economic outlook dimmed, with households feeling less optimistic about their financial well-being.

The ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence measure eased to 113.3 in February from 116.1 in January. The current conditions index posted a 4 point decline to 109.8, while the future conditions index eased 1.9 points to 115.7.

“We continue to see mixed messages across key drivers of consumer sentiment, including a weakening in the labour market, a barrage of bad news regarding the global economy and that persistent rising cost trend for some core staples but on the back drop of an improving property market,” said Cameron Bagrie, chief economist at ANZ.

Households felt less optimistic about their well being, with confidence easing to a net 24 from net 32 in January.

Many households did remain positive about big ticket purchases, with sentiment dropping just five points to 29. Expectations regarding house prices increased from 3 to 2.5 percent, with real house price growth expectations highest in Canterbury on 0.6 percent, compared with -1.5 percent in Wellington.

Confidence dropped across all ages, with those aged between 18 and 24 years leading with a 7 point decline to 121.

Males and females recorded their narrowest confidence margin since March 2008, after male confidence dropped 10 points last month, while female confidence lifted 3 points in February.

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