Consumer confidence slides

 

money, dollar notesConsumer confidence has dipped to its lowest level in more than a month despite an improvement in the unemployment rate.

ANZ’s latest weekly reading on how consumers feel dropped 1.8 per cent in the week ending September 14.

“The fall is surprising given the strong August employment report last week, as well as the continuing house prices gains and buoyant auction clearance rates,” ANZ said on Tuesday.

Official figures released last week showed the unemployment rate fell to 6.1 per cent in August, from a 12-year high of 6.4 per cent the previous month.

The ANZ survey showed fewer people believed now was a good time to buy a household item, while the number of respondents who felt their financial position was better now than a year ago also fell.

However, there was a rise in confidence about economic conditions in 2015, and among those who felt optimistic about their financial situation next year.

ANZ chief economist Warren Hogan said confidence was likely to improve over the next year as the jobs market picks up and house prices rise.

“While consumer confidence still sits at a healthy level, it is disappointing that it has been unable to build momentum after the initial post-budget rebound,” he said.

“Still, we expect confidence to improve this year, supported by solid fundamentals such as low interest rates, rising house prices and a gradually strengthening labour market.”

The survey was based on 1,000 face-to-face interviews at the weekend.

AAP

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